LEGISLATIVE SESSION; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 58
(Senate - March 24, 2020)

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[Pages S1976-S2006]
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                          LEGISLATIVE SESSION

                                 ______
                                 

    MIDDLE CLASS HEALTH BENEFITS TAX REPEAL ACT OF 2019--MOTION TO 
                            PROCEED--Resumed

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 748, which the 
clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 748) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 
     1986 to repeal the excise tax on high cost employer-sponsored 
     health coverage.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority whip.


                              Coronavirus

  Mr. THUNE. Madam President, at this very minute, across the country, 
families are wondering how they are going to survive financially now 
that mom or dad is out of a job. Hourly workers whose businesses have 
closed temporarily are praying that they will still have a job to go 
back to when this is all over. Small businesses are facing agonizing 
decisions about whether they will have to lay off employees or close 
their businesses altogether.
  And Democrats? Well, Democrats have been focused on fuel emissions 
standards and early voting. That is right. In the midst of an 
unprecedented health and financial crisis, Democrats have been delaying 
a major relief bill in hopes that they can include a laundry list of 
their pet projects--projects that have absolutely nothing to do with 
providing financial relief to Americans or ensuring the medical 
professionals have the resources they need to fight this virus.
  Republicans developed this legislation in conjunction with Democrats. 
It was teed up, being written up Saturday, Saturday evening, ready to 
vote Sunday morning, when Democrats voted to block even getting on the 
bill--even getting on the bill. They said: Well, we need to block it 
now because we may not be able to block it later--not, of course, 
acknowledging that there is yet another 60-vote hurdle that we would 
have to get over before we get to final consideration of the bill. But 
it has been teed up and ready to go now since Saturday night. We made a 
lot of changes since then to the legislation to address the Democrats' 
priorities.
  I thought we were very close to agreement on a final bill. Of course, 
then the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate stepped in. They 
apparently decided this was a perfect opportunity to implement a bunch 
of Democratic pet projects that have nothing to do--nothing to do with 
fighting the coronavirus or helping the American families who are 
suffering financially at this very minute.
  I know my Democrat colleagues have come to regard ``bipartisanship'' 
as a bad word in the past 3 years, but I had hoped--I really, sincerely 
had hoped--that in this hour of serious need, the Democrats would be 
able to put aside their prejudices and work with Republicans to pass 
this critical legislation. Apparently, that was too much to hope for 
from the Democrat leadership.
  Neither my colleagues nor I have given up on reaching an agreement. 
We are still working, and I am still hoping we will arrive at a final 
bill sometime later today.
  We should already have passed this legislation 3 days ago. The blame 
for not passing it lies squarely on the Democrats' shoulders. I really 
hope

[[Page S1977]]

they will rethink their decision to hijack this relief bill for their 
political purposes, because the American people deserve better.
  The bill before us is filled with resources to help struggling 
families, provide relief to workers, and enable businesses to retain 
their employees during this crisis. Americans need this bill today, not 
tomorrow, not next week, not when Democrats are finally satisfied that 
they have scored enough political points--today.
  I hope my Democrat colleagues will urge their leadership to come to 
the table and pass this legislation. American workers and families need 
relief, and they need it now. We can't afford to let them down. All we 
need is a few Democrat Members who are willing to go against their 
leadership and vote with us to pass legislation that addresses all the 
fundamental issues that I just mentioned: assistance to families 
displaced, people who need cash, people who need to pay bills; 
assistance to those who are unemployed in the form of unemployment 
insurance, increasing the States' unemployment insurance that people 
already get by $600 per person per week for 3 months; checks of $2,400 
for married couples and $500 per child on top of that, to go out 
immediately upon passage of this bill. For small businesses, there is 
$350 billion set aside to pay their payroll, to keep employees working, 
hopefully, to keep those jobs there so that they don't go away, and, 
when this thing is over, to ensure that those jobs are still there for 
people.
  Those are all provisions in this bill that are designed to help 
working Americans, families, and employees to keep their jobs and keep 
their livelihood until we get to a better place, which, hopefully, will 
be very soon. In the meantime, we need to deal with the healthcare 
crisis, which this also addresses.
  Look at this. There is over $240 billion in relief in this bill 
dealing principally with the challenges that our healthcare community 
has: $75 billion directly for hospitals and another $25 billion would 
come in reimbursements under Medicare to hospitals, so $100 billion for 
hospitals; $20 billion for veterans healthcare; $11 billion for 
vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and other preparedness needs; $4.5 
billion for the Centers for Disease Control; $1.7 billion for the 
Strategic National Stockpile; $12 billion for America's military, also 
an important component in this fight; $10 billion for block grants to 
States; $12 billion for K-12 education; $6 billion for higher 
education; $5 billion for FEMA disaster relief; $10 billion for 
airports; and $20 billion for public transportation emergency relief.
  In all, just in this particular provision of the bill, there is $242 
billion in assistance--$186 billion, I might add, which would run 
through and be administered by the States.
  All told, between the amount that is going to families, workers, 
employees, and small businesses, there is about $1.1 to $1.2 trillion 
that could be on the street today helping address the healthcare and 
economic crisis that is being felt and experienced by the American 
people. But no, we are still here. We are still here waiting for the 
Democrats to conclude, at some point, we hope, all these political 
games that they are playing.
  It does seem like a big transaction for them--political winners and 
political losers. The only loser we know is the American people in all 
of this because the longer this goes on, the harder it becomes for them 
to get back to where they were, and the harder it becomes for that 
small business to stay open or keep those employees employed. Every 
single day is costing the American economy and American workers jobs, 
resources, and wages they could be putting forward to take care of them 
and their families.
  The Democrats have said they want more money for hospitals. That is 
negotiable. They want more conditions on the loan fund that larger 
businesses would be able to access in order to keep their businesses 
afloat. That is a negotiable thing. There are many of our Members here 
who support those very things. They say they want more money for State 
and local governments, which is probably something that could be 
negotiated.
  I keep having rank-and-file Democrat Members come up to me and say: 
This is the list of things we want to negotiate on and get in this 
bill.
  Those are all things we are willing to negotiate on and, frankly, 
many of our Members would support some of the things some Democrats 
want to do there, too.
  What is the holdup? I don't think rank-and-file Democrats even 
realize what their leadership is demanding just past those doors and 
trying to get done in this bill: getting the Green New Deal into 
effect; requiring, basically, federalization, nationalization of our 
election system in this country; and all kinds of new requirements that 
benefit their special interest groups. That is what this is about. This 
is the hijacking of a crisis to try and get permanent changes on a 
political agenda they haven't been able to get and normally wouldn't be 
able to get under those circumstances.
  We are happy to debate all of those issues. We are happy to have the 
debate about all those other things they want to talk about. That is 
what we do here. That is what we do in the Senate. If you have a good 
idea and you think something needs to be changed in this country, let's 
come here and let's debate it. Let's get a piece of legislation to talk 
about and see if we can come up with a solution.

  Right now is not the time to be debating ancillary, unrelated issues. 
Now is the time to put out the fire, and there is a fire burning in 
this country right now. It is affecting every American. Every single 
American is being affected.
  Today is the day. I hope and pray that when the Democrat leadership 
comes out here on the floor, they will announce that today is the day 
they are going to work with us on a bill which they had input in.
  Two of the great fallacies about this legislation is, one, that this 
is a partisan bill. They know that isn't true. Their rank-and-file 
Members who have participated in the working groups all know that isn't 
true. Yet their leadership keeps coming out here announcing this is a 
partisan bill.
  This is not a partisan bill. This was constructed in a way that gave 
both sides input, which includes many of the priorities both sides 
brought to the table. That is what this bill represents. It represents 
the very things they said they want: an emphasis on workers, an 
emphasis on unemployed people, and an emphasis on businesses.
  And the other great fallacy that they raised is somehow that this is 
a bailout for big businesses--big businesses that have been forced to 
shut down. Look at the airlines. They have 10 percent to 20 percent 
capacity. Why do you think that is? That is not their fault. That is 
not their choosing. They have been forced to shut down.
  There are industries in industry sectors all across this country that 
are being affected in the same way. All this bill includes is a 
provision that allows them to access credit so that they can keep their 
operations going, so that they can continue to pay the millions of 
employees who are employed by big businesses across this country. The 
Democrats continually come to the floor and say: This is a bailout for 
big corporations; we need more emphasis on workers.
  Who do you think employs the workers?
  As I mentioned, all the provisions in this bill--this is a pro-worker 
bill. This is about getting paychecks in the hands of American workers. 
That is what this bill does. That is what this bill is about. It is a 
sad and regrettable chapter in this time of enormous crisis--something 
we haven't seen, certainly, in my lifetime. You have to look back in 
the annals of history a really long time to find a time where we are 
facing the kind of circumstances, the kind of crises, and the kind of 
hardships we see, both in terms of people's health and livelihood, as 
well as their economic livelihood in our history.
  Today is the day to get this done. We can't wait any longer. The time 
for political games is over. It is time to act. I hope and pray that, 
by the end of the day, we will see the kind of cooperation, the kind of 
bipartisanship that will let us address the needs of hard-working 
Americans who are fearful for themselves and their families.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. BARRASSO. Madam President, I would like to associate myself with 
the

[[Page S1978]]

remarks of the Republican whip. The time for political games is over. 
It is time to get this piece of legislation passed and signed into law. 
The American people need it. They want it, and they are watching.
  Yesterday, the U.S. Surgeon General warned us. He said: ``This week, 
it's going to get bad.'' He was talking about the healthcare aspects of 
it.
  I was on the phone last night, along with my colleague, Senator Enzi, 
in a telephone townhall meeting, talking to people all around Wyoming.
  It is not just the healthcare side of it that is going to get bad. 
The economic side of it is going to get bad, as people who every day 
want to get up and go to work are now, for the first time in a long, 
long time, told they can't do so, not by their employer but by the 
government.
  I have been visiting with doctors. Our healthcare providers are 
expecting more patients today and tomorrow and through the week. Some 
healthcare systems are being overrun. We need to get this done today.
  Americans are doing their part in preventing community spread of the 
virus, but the men and women on the frontline taking care of those 
patients need resources that would be included in this bill, and we 
need to get this passed today.
  The private sector mobilized to provide more tests, more masks, more 
respirators, and more ventilators. They are doing their job. This 
Senate needs to do its job today. The administration has green-lighted 
scientific breakthroughs and flexibility for our healthcare system.
  The Senate has had a bipartisan process throughout this entire 
process, as the Senator from South Dakota has just outlined. Working 
groups have been coming up with bipartisan solutions. Together we have 
put together the largest economic and healthcare rescue package in the 
history of this country. It is time to pass it today.
  Today--at least at the end of last night--we were still at a 
standstill, being blocked and delayed by, basically, the Speaker of the 
House. We are blocked from providing relief for the American people by 
the Speaker of the House and the Democrats who are doing her bidding. 
They continue to play politics with the lives and livelihoods of the 
American people.
  It is distressing because, just within the last hour, the Speaker of 
the House was on national television. She is talking about what her 
options are--her political options--with no sense of urgency at all. I 
did not hear a sense of urgency in her voice. I didn't get the sense 
that she understood the gravity of the situation when I listened to her 
voice talking about this. She talked about a number of things on her 
wish list and talked about leveraging opportunities. This isn't about 
political leverage. This is about the American people and the needs of 
our Nation at this time of healthcare crisis and economic crisis.
  She talked about calling the House back in session as one of her 
options and then having a House-passed bill and then going to a 
conference. We need action in this body today, and we need this bill on 
the President's desk tonight.
  Today, in this country, we have over 46,000 people who have had the 
test for coronavirus and have tested positive. There is a lack of 
testing. So even though 46,000 people tested positive, the total 
numbers may be beyond that. We have nearly 600 deaths in the United 
States from this virus that is raging around the world.
  In New York, where the minority leader is from, they are turning the 
Javits Center into a field hospital. Men and women in the military know 
what a field hospital is all about. Physicians, who have gone through 
medical school, understand the history of field hospitals. According to 
some estimates, the New York healthcare system could be overrun in a 
week.
  This bill needs to pass today. When you will look back on this in a 
day, in a week, in a month, you will just ask: How many deaths could 
have been prevented if this bill had been passed yesterday instead of 
today? If one thinks that delaying this even beyond today is an option, 
it is not. The bipartisan bill that the Senators have worked on needs 
to pass today, be accepted, and moved from the House to the White 
House.
  It is hard to defend the indefensible, but that is where we find 
ourselves with so many Democrats coming to vote against even the motion 
to proceed to debate on the bill--an unnecessary delay that blocks the 
surge in supplies that our hospitals need; that blocks the access to 
healthcare; that blocks the medical innovation; that blocks the support 
for our healthcare workers. Every one of those ``no'' votes was a block 
to assistance for communities all around the country. The votes to 
block the move to the motion to proceed delayed over $240 billion in 
emergency funding. That vote to block the motion to proceed blocked 
$100 billion for hospitals, $20 billion for veterans' healthcare, $11 
billion for vaccines and therapeutics. The list goes on and on.
  Why?
  It seems to me the Speaker of the House has come back here with her 
own bill that we had on the floor yesterday, having just been made 
aware of what was in it. We looked at this wish list while the American 
people waited and watched and worried. It was a liberal wish list of 
things that had nothing to do with the disease or the treatment or the 
recovery of the economy. In their liberal wish list, they block the 
list of things that would help to save people's lives--resources that, 
as a doctor, I know are needed in a healthcare crisis.
  Why are they holding this up?
  We had a productive, bipartisan process in putting a bill together 
that seemed, on Saturday night, to be right on its way to being a 
successful, bipartisan effort. Yet, at the direction of the Speaker of 
the House, they all voted no. She said she wanted more in it and came 
out with her own bill. I will get to that wish list in a moment.
  We told the American public and Governors and mayors and hospitals 
that we were doing everything we could, and over the weekend, I 
believed that as this bipartisan group worked together. Yet to have 
seen all of the Democrats come to the floor and vote no has made me 
rethink that. We have an opportunity to do something the American 
public needs. We could have done it and should have done it yesterday.
  The demands we are looking at really have nothing to do with saving 
lives and nothing to do with combating the coronavirus. The list that I 
have seen in the House bill has everything to do with capitulating to 
the extremes of Nancy Pelosi's party--the far left of her party--and in 
making good on the deal that she cut so that she could remain as the 
Speaker of the House.
  Yesterday, she seemed to be more interested--and was more interested 
in terms of the press reports--in reliving the passage of ObamaCare 10 
years ago than in the crisis that we are facing today. She seemed to be 
more interested in reliving a law of 10 years ago instead of in what 
law needs to be passed today and should have been passed yesterday.
  It is ironic that one of the architects of ObamaCare, Ezekiel 
Emanuel--one who celebrated it--wrote a book when ObamaCare was passed. 
He wrote in the book that we have too many hospitals in the United 
States. He actually wrote that we have 1,000 too many hospitals in the 
United States.
  Since ObamaCare has passed, 120 hospitals have closed, and many of 
those have been rural hospitals. ObamaCare has also blocked the 
expansion of physician-owned hospitals. Yet I hear from the same folks 
that, today, we need to expand our healthcare capacity--that we don't 
have the hospital beds and the facilities to provide for the care that 
may be necessary in what the Surgeon General has said will be a week 
during which things are going to likely get much worse.
  I don't understand why the Senate Democrats have chosen to align 
themselves with Speaker Pelosi on this leftist list of all of their 
wants that override the needs of the American people. The House bill 
that Nancy Pelosi just put out--1,100 pages--is one special interest 
giveaway after another.
  This came up last night during the telephone townhall meeting that 
Senator Enzi and I had with the folks in Wyoming. I said: Really? There 
are tax breaks for solar panels? for wind turbines? They are holding up 
voting for this emergency bill that will help the American people in 
terms of the economy and in terms of our healthcare

[[Page S1979]]

over solar panels, wind turbines, and a Green New Deal about airline 
emissions?
  In this bill, this emergency rescue package for the American people, 
there is a student loan giveaway, a bailout for the U.S. Postal 
Service, new same-day voter registration, and early voting 
requirements. Those have no place in an emergency rescue package for 
the American people. That is why we were astonished on this side of the 
aisle when the Democrats--one after another, after another--came to the 
floor and voted no for even a motion to proceed to this rescue 
legislation.
  The American public needs relief--healthcare relief. The American 
public needs to know that there is treatment on the way; that there is 
research being done for vaccines; and that the things they need for 
testing are on the way. That is what the American people need to know. 
If they can't get paychecks at work because their workplaces have been 
shut down and they can't go to their jobs--whether they are 
at restaurants or stores or whatever has been shut down--they need to 
know they can pay for food to put food on the tables for their 
families.

  Instead, what the Speaker is asking for in her bill is to increase 
collective bargaining for Big Labor; requirements for racial and gender 
diversity for corporate boards; an automatic extension of nonimmigrant 
visas; money for Planned Parenthood; and money to maintain the John F. 
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts--the Kennedy Center? These are 
all worthy topics for discussion but not on this bill, which is a 
rescue bill for the American public.
  Let me be clear. This list that came to us from the House is a 
special interest wish list. It is not a list for people who are 
suffering from the coronavirus. This is why we have 150 million 
American workers who are watching and waiting and worrying. If those on 
the other side of the aisle thought they could just slip some of these 
items that the Speaker of the House wants into this Senate bill in an 
emergency, they are wrong. The President said last night that he will 
not approve such a list. So they are delaying, and they seem to be 
blocking the bill for something that will never become law.
  We know what is going on here. The media even understands well what 
is going on here because one major outlet, CNN, said the Democrats are 
engaging in political gamesmanship. This is about the future of our 
country, the future of the people of our country. Yet we are seeing 
political gamesmanship being played by the other side of the aisle. The 
American people get it as well. They see through it. They know that 
valuable days are being lost here.
  We need to pass this today with no more delays. The bill has been 
written in a bipartisan way in the Senate, and it should pass with 
overwhelming numbers. I see no reason we can't vote today. I see no 
reason to delay. This is the time to get healthcare capacity online to 
deal with this healthcare crisis during a week that, as the Surgeon 
General said, is going to get much worse. We need today to prepare our 
hospitals and our healthcare systems for the surge of patients that is 
coming. They need to be ready.
  The men and women who are working in those hospitals are ready. They 
are in the fight of their lives. They are the heroes in hometowns all 
across America because the coronavirus is in every State and in many, 
many communities. So those men and women are there, and they need to 
hear that the Senate and the House and the President and this Nation--
the government--are standing behind them and not standing at a 
distance. They need to know the government is right there in the fight 
with them by providing what they need--the testing, supplies, the 
equipment--one thing after another--so they can do what they are 
trained to do, which is to save lives, to heal the sick, and to prevent 
disease.
  That is why people go into medicine. That is why they go into the 
profession. Doctors and nurses and therapists and all of those people 
who work there go to school to learn to save lives. They learn to treat 
disease, to heal the sick, and to prevent disease. That is what this 
coronavirus has put them all in a position to do--to do their best 
work. We have to make sure they have everything they need.
  For that reason, we need to pass this bill today. There is no reason 
to delay, no reason to wait another day. The bill provides them with 
what they need, and it provides the economy the sort of certainty and 
security that the entire country needs.
  I appreciate the opportunity to share these thoughts. My final 
message is, this bill needs to be passed today.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Loeffler). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam President, as we are all facing this, we are 
hearing from our Tennesseans; we are hearing from small businesses; and 
people are trying to hang on to every piece of information they can 
get.
  It helps them to stay informed, and we encourage everyone: Stay 
informed. Stay up to the minute. Talk to us. Be on our websites and 
social media.
  We all want to get to you the information you need as quickly as we 
get it because that is how we are going to defeat this--by realizing 
that we are all in this together, and it is going to take every single 
one of us doing our part to get past it.
  In my family, we had this mantra that we grew up with, and it was 
kind of my mother's way of saying: Don't sit around and wait. Do 
things. And it was--there were two things she would always say: Leave 
things in better shape than you found them. In other words, always be 
helping to improve a situation. Leave things in better shape than you 
found them.
  She would always say ``Give back more than you take,'' stressing to 
us the importance of being a giver to our community, to our family, to 
our society, and not being a taker, sitting around feeling like you are 
entitled and you want people to bring things to you.
  So in our family, as we approached situations that may have been less 
than wonderful or if there had been a hurricane--I grew up in South 
Mississippi--or a terrible storm or some other event, we would always 
look at it and say ``Leave things in better shape than you found them'' 
and ``Give back more than you take.''
  It was important that action be a part of the solution, not only for 
our family and our community but right now. Taking the right actions, 
exercising good judgment, is something that is important for our entire 
Nation, and Tennesseans are hard at work helping to address this 
coronavirus--COVID-19--crisis that we are under.
  Right now, there are 166 members of the Tennessee National Guard who 
are training to provide support to the Tennessee Department of Health. 
All together, the State currently plans to activate 250 guardsmen to 
help out at clinics across the State. They will be helping with 
assessments and screening.
  To these National Guardsmen, Guardswomen, to these members and their 
families who are going to activate in this crisis, bless you--God bless 
you--and thank you for once again stepping up to help defend our Nation 
and to meet our Nation's needs.
  The Tennessee Air National Guard assisted in transporting 1 million 
testing kits. They put these on the C-17s that are housed there in 
Memphis and flew them from Aviano Air Base in Italy to Memphis, and 
then those kits were divided out and sent to healthcare providers all 
across the Nation to get testing into communities where our citizens 
are fearing they may have contracted COVID-19.
  In finding solutions, our scientists at Vanderbilt University Medical 
Center are working hard in participation with other labs to find a 
vaccine for this, the Denison Lab--and I had the opportunity to talk to 
Dr. Denison last week. We know that, in conjunction with other labs, 
they are expediting the testing that is necessary and finding 
therapies, anti-virals, vaccines. This is something they are focusing 
on, and they are working as hard as they possibly can, around the 
clock, to find these solutions.
  Of course, we do know if China had been more forthcoming, if they had 
not tried to keep this a secret--imagine

[[Page S1980]]

trying to keep this a secret, which is exactly what they tried to do--
we would be further along in this process, but we are so grateful--so, 
so grateful--for these brilliant minds that are researching this and 
are building off past research from coronaviruses and from SARS, and 
they are whittling down what can be used to fight this.
  Indeed, the supercomputer at Oak Ridge and the team of scientists 
there, working with the supercomputer, the Summit, were able to put in 
a lot of information and distill down to 77 drugs that could be 
effective in this fight against COVID-19.
  You may remember that just as we identified our first case of COVID-
19 in Tennessee, that was the week that West and Middle Tennessee were 
struck by a devastating series of tornadoes. TEMA, our emergency 
management agency, and all of the volunteers who have worked on this 
have done an unbelievable job in the midst of dealing with 
unprecedented devastation.
  Again, we thank President Trump for his attention to this, and the 
people of Tennessee are so grateful for his attention to the concerns 
of those hit with the tornado and his visit to the State and FEMA and 
TEMA working together to address that.
  So our State has had a full plate, and I say thank you to every 
Tennessean who has looked at the situation that we are in and decided 
that they are going to do whatever they can to help.
  We have a lot of distillers in our State, and, God bless them, they 
are stepping up and instead of distilling whiskey, they are moving to 
sanitizers. And, yes, to those distillers, we know there is an excise 
tax problem, and we are on it, trying to resolve that for you.
  I have to give a shout-out to our singers and our songwriters, our 
musicians. While they cannot go fill the audience at one of the clubs 
on Lower Broad or one of the concert venues in so many places around 
our State and up in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, what they are doing is 
hosting virtual concerts on their own Instagram and Facebook, and they 
are doing this every single day, trying to bring a bit of joy to lift 
our hearts during a time when we are quarantining and staying separate 
and apart. How wonderful that we have this technology that will allow 
us to walk through this entire process of this pandemic together.
  Here in DC, we are doing our best to be as positive as we possibly 
can and to be productive because we know, as I said on this floor 
yesterday, that this is a very difficult time for small businesses, and 
it is why I have worked so very consistently and diligently through 
this process of negotiating our legislative solution to be sure that it 
includes a small business definition that is going to include the self-
employed and the sole proprietors and the independent contractors so 
that they are not left in the lurch. We are continuing to do that. We 
are hearing from people every day.
  I heard from the manager of a YMCA that is outside of Nashville, and 
they have 65 part-time employees who work in that facility. This 
manager is concerned about how nonprofits and small businesses are 
going to end up being treated in this legislation. He is certainly 
wanting to keep those people on the payroll. And do you know what? I 
agree with him. We want people to stay on the payroll. When we get past 
this 15-day period--we are about halfway through it right now, 15 days 
to slow the spread that the President and Vice President have put in 
place--we want people to be going back to work.
  I heard from another business owner. It is a family-owned business, 
and they do maintenance services like plumbing and electrical work, and 
they have employees who have been with them since 1993. They have never 
had to lay off one single employee, and they are concerned about where 
uncertainty is.
  We have retail--fabulous, homegrown retail--entities in Middle 
Tennessee, around Nashville. One of those employers has five stores. 
They are headquartered in Franklin, TN, right outside of Nashville. He 
is keeping people working even though they are barely bringing in 
revenue, and he needs us to pass this bill, this rescue bill, so he can 
keep those employees on the payroll. Then a company that has stood 
itself up in the last several years--and they are a valuable asset in 
working with the vulnerable population, moving people from poverty to 
work--is wanting to keep people working.

  We are hearing from all of these about the importance of having this 
bill that will be a bipartisan bill to address the concerns of 
businesses, large and small, and to address the concerns of workers who 
are working for those businesses, large and small.
  What we have had in the bipartisan bill--and hopefully this will move 
forward--is $350 billion in loans for small businesses, and if people 
stay working, those become grants; $500 billion in emergency relief 
through low-interest loans that could go to businesses and hospitals; 
$242 billion in emergency appropriations across Federal agencies. 
Seventy-five percent of that money would go to State, local, and Tribal 
governments, which are much better at managing their affairs than the 
Federal Government. There is $250 billion in increased and expanded 
unemployment benefits. I talked about this yesterday. If you normally 
are going to get $300 in unemployment, with the $600 plus-up, you are 
at $900 a week. These are all things to keep the economy going. There 
is an additional $75 billion for hospitals and our healthcare workers.
  So there is much that is in there. Imagine a bipartisan bill 
including this--including tax rebates for Americans, $1,200 for 
individuals, $2,400 for joint filers, $500 per dependent child. There 
are student loan deferments for those who are affected by COVID-19. All 
of that--all of that is in a bill. It is so incredibly disappointing to 
know that we had a failed vote--not once but twice--to get cloture to 
move forward to get on this bill.
  With all of these good-faith negotiations, I have just been appalled, 
as I said yesterday, with the comments to restructure this bill to meet 
the progressive vision. You know, there is a season for everything. 
There is a time and place for everything, and this is neither the time 
nor the place to have a debate about things like collective bargaining 
powers for unions and making our airlines meet emissions standards--the 
Green New Deal emissions standards by 2025. For goodness' sake, let's 
keep the airlines flying right now. Wind and solar tax credits have 
nothing--nothing--to do with COVID-19. Come on, I say to my friends 
across the aisle, let's set these aside for the appropriate season to 
discuss this, but it is not now. Election assistance funding? That has 
nothing to do with COVID-19. Corporate board diversity? It has nothing 
to do with COVID-19. Same-day voter registration? The list goes on and 
on. There is a time and a place, there is a season, and right now, 
dealing with the crisis in front of us is what should be the center of 
our attention.
  I think that yesterday my fellow Republicans and I made it abundantly 
clear. We do not have time. At this point in time, we do not have time 
for political games and antics based around a progressive policy wish 
list. It is disrespectful of the American people. It is hurtful to 
those who are directly affected by COVID-19, which, indeed, is 
everybody. It is important for us to move forward.
  I didn't get everything I wanted. I would have preferred a payroll 
tax holiday. I would have preferred rebating income taxes that have 
been paid for businesses and for individuals. I would have even liked 
to have seen more of my bipartisan SAM-C Act, Securing America's 
Medicine Cabinet. But adults realize you are not going to get 
everything you want, and reasonable people realize you are not going to 
get everything you want.
  This is a time where we should be respectful and we should be 
reasonable and we should apply common sense. We know the American 
people are expecting our best efforts, and they are looking forward to 
a solution.
  As I said yesterday, I had talked to someone who said: You know, I am 
scared to death.
  This is a small business owner who struggled. The Tax Cuts and Jobs 
Act allowed them to move forward with growth. There are teenagers in 
the house, and homeschool is starting today.
  She said: I am screaming inside silently. I do not want the kids to 
know that I am afraid.
  So I encourage my colleagues to lay down your progressive policy wish 
list. Lay it down. Set it aside. There is a season to everything. There 
is a time,

[[Page S1981]]

there is a season, and I encourage you to realize that this is neither 
the time nor the season. Let's address the critical issues in front of 
us.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The assistant Democratic leader
  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, first let me say a word to my colleague 
from Tennessee.
  It is good to see you, and it is a good social distance. I thank you 
for your presentation. We may not agree on everything, but we do agree 
on some things, and we are working together on the issues that affect 
Tennessee, Illinois, and many other places, to increase the number of 
medical professionals available in small towns and rural America.
  As we go through this public health crisis, it reminds us that we 
need to keep focused on that, and she and I will continue to work on 
that. I thank her for her bipartisan cooperation. That is a timely 
issue with or without the current crisis we face, and I look forward to 
her successful completion on that bipartisan issue.
  Madam President, my daughter called me yesterday from New York and 
talked about her first day in the classroom. You see, our grandkids go 
to public schools in Brooklyn, and they are, of course, closed, and the 
kids are back home. Well, yesterday was the first day there was to be 
remote learning using laptop computers. So my son-in-law took my 
grandson and my daughter took my granddaughter into separate rooms and 
spent 3 or 4 hours in that made-up classroom. My daughter said: This is 
harder than I ever imagined.
  So it is a reminder, No. 1, of how much we owe it to teachers every 
single day, and not with 1 child, usually with more than 1-15 to 30 in 
a classroom. Let us also remember that the learning process is 
critically important as we go through this health crisis. I hope all 
parents will try--I know my daughter and her husband are trying--to 
help the kids keep up with their learning process. In some places, it 
is hard. Kids don't have access to computers or may not have remote-
learning possibilities. But it is something that is essential, and I 
thank the teachers and school districts that are trying to put it 
together.
  Janice Jackson, who is the head of the Chicago Public Schools, called 
me just a few days ago, and we talked about how they were implementing 
this in the city of Chicago and how they are trying to distribute 
school lunches. It is an awesome responsibility.
  Let's give special thanks to those who are working overtime to try to 
make sure our kids can keep up with the learning process and some of 
the basics in life, like feeding them to make sure they have something 
for lunch and breakfast, if not more.
  I can go through the long list of people to thank, which I have done 
before, starting with those in healthcare--nurses, doctors, lab 
technicians, and others working in senior citizen facilities, our first 
responders, and many like them. Let us not forget that every single day 
while we isolate, they are forced to break isolation and to come to 
help those in need, and we can never thank them enough.
  So what is going on in the U.S. Senate? If you hear the other side of 
the aisle, there is a suggestion that we lost our opportunity, that we 
are wasting time and nothing is happening. They argue that we have had 
two votes in a row--Sunday afternoon and then yesterday--to decide not 
to debate on the floor the McConnell bill which was produced. The 
argument is that we can't waste a second, that we need to get to the 
serious business of helping people across America and turning our 
economy around.
  I just want to say for the record that I left the office not 30 or 40 
feet away of the Democratic leader, Senator Schumer. I didn't go and 
see him because he is in active negotiations at this minute with 
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, representing the White House. He is in 
communication with the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, about the 
progress being made, and, as he said on the floor yesterday, he feels 
positive and optimistic about the outcome. I do too.
  This is an awesome undertaking. Consider for a minute that the bill 
we are trying to style and craft literally is larger than 1 year's 
Federal budget for domestic discretionary spending, and we are doing it 
in a matter of days. When it comes to the Federal budget, we spend a 
year--sometimes longer--putting it together. In this case, we are 
writing a bill of that magnitude in a matter of days because it is a 
compelling challenge and should happen.
  The argument on the other side of the aisle is that we wasted our 
opportunity here, that we should have agreed to the McConnell bill that 
was brought forward for a vote on Sunday and got on with it. But many 
understood that there was a fundamental flaw in the process Senator 
McConnell started.
  When he suggested that we needed this third bill, it was after we had 
passed two previous bills.
  The first one, the President asked, if you will remember--it seems 
like ancient history--about 3 weeks ago, the President asked for $2 
billion to deal with coronavirus. Many of us thought that was totally 
inadequate, and we put our heads together on a bipartisan basis with 
the President and raised it to $8 billion. We did it in a timely way, 
and we did it in a bipartisan fashion. It probably shocked people 
across America who have limited high regard for Congress to start with.
  Quickly thereafter came a need for another bill. We upped the amount 
from $8 billion to $100 billion in that second bill. It passed in the 
early morning hours of last Saturday--just last Saturday. What happened 
in the Senate? Well, the Senate didn't move on the bill until Wednesday 
of last week. So we are talking about waiting 4 days when we could have 
considered the bill in the Senate and didn't move forward with it 
because we didn't have consent requested or given. But it has been done 
that way before. It doesn't have to physically make it across the 
rotunda. So 4 days passed, and last Wednesday, Senator McConnell called 
for this vote, and it passed--$100 billion.
  Then he announced we would start crafting this third bill. If you 
notice the calendar days we are facing here, it hasn't been a week 
since that announcement, and we are considering a bill of the size and 
magnitude the likes of which we have never seen in a single 
undertaking. It is a bill for authorization and appropriation that may 
range somewhere north of $1.5 trillion. Why is it that big? Because the 
problem is that big, if not larger. That is why we are trying to do 
this the right way.
  When Senator Schumer was told by Senator McConnell we were moving 
toward this third bill, his first response was the right one: Let's do 
it as we did with the first two. Let's have a bipartisan, bicameral 
approach. He suggested bringing together the four corners, as we call 
them here--the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and 
Senate, together with the White House, sitting down at the table to 
craft this bill.
  Senator McConnell refused. He said: We will start this as an 
exclusively Republican Senate bill. We will ask our task forces to 
write something. We will get back to the Democrats in the Senate later.
  No mention was made of the involvement of the House.
  Well, after some 48 hours, we were presented with the proposal from 
the Republican side. In fairness, there were parts of it that were 
bipartisan in the McConnell bill. I think of the effort that Senator 
Cardin of Maryland and Senator Rubio of Florida put into the whole 
question of dealing with small business and the problems that they are 
facing with this massive public health crisis. They have come up with 
what I consider a good approach--a good approach that literally could 
help 50 to 60 million small businesses across America. There were 
others involved in the conversation--Senator Wyden, Senator Graham, and 
others. It was bipartisan--start to finish--and I believe we are this 
close to coming up with this bipartisan proposal.
  However, the other provisions in the McConnell bill were not as 
bipartisan, and there reached a point where Senator McConnell announced 
that that was the end of the story. He was bringing the McConnell bill 
to the floor without further negotiation. That came as a surprise 
because there were elements that the Democrats were asking for and 
insisting on that really were fundamental.

[[Page S1982]]

  So a vote was taken this last Sunday afternoon, and we decided, as a 
caucus, to argue on the Democratic side that there were fundamental 
elements missing in the McConnell proposal and we wanted to include 
them. So we voted no in going forward on the McConnell proposal.
  At that point, we didn't stalk off and fold our arms and say: That is 
it; we are not part of the process. Senator Schumer and the leaders in 
our caucus did exactly the opposite. We sat down with the White House, 
with the Treasury Secretary, and started engaging on those issues of 
importance, and, within a few hours, we involved the Speaker of the 
House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
  Time and again, I have noticed over the last several days that 
Senator McConnell and others have come to the floor and complained that 
Speaker Pelosi was part of this negotiation process. If you go back to 
that pamphlet of how laws are made, you understand that this is not a 
unicameral legislature. Both the House and the Senate need to pass a 
measure for it to be sent to the President. So the involvement of the 
House leaders--starting, of course, with the majority, Speaker Pelosi, 
and including Mr. McCarthy of California, representing the minority--is 
an integral part of this process, and it should be. I don't understand 
why it is so unnerving for so many Republican leaders to consider 
sitting down at a table with this woman from California who happens to 
be the Speaker of the House and the leader of the majority, who is 
essential if we are going to get this done in a timely way. I think she 
should be part of it.
  She has been following the progress that is being made with Senator 
Schumer, Mr. Mnuchin, and Senator McConnell. She has made positive 
statements in the hopes that we can reach a point where we have a 
bipartisan agreement, and that would speed this up, as it should be. So 
we involved the House of Representatives in this conversation at the 
earliest stage, not after we have finished the Republican measure that 
Senator McConnell wanted to bring to the floor, but after we have 
completed a bipartisan measure that is one that she may be able to take 
to the House of Representatives for consideration and maybe even a 
unanimous consent on the floor.
  So what are the items that we are now negotiating, and where do they 
stand? The first item--and we made it clear on the Democratic side--
that is essential is that we deal with the healthcare system across 
America. The Governor of New York, Governor Cuomo, announced yesterday 
that he wishes that every hospital in New York would increase its 
capacity by 50 percent. Then, he went on to say: I really mean 100 
percent. But 50 percent is so that they have enough bed space for those 
who are likely to come in seeking help facing this COVID-19 virus. We 
can understand that if a great State like New York--and even Illinois, 
for that matter--has to anticipate this dramatic increase in patients, 
our system could be easily overwhelmed.
  So the Democrats have said from day one that we want to make that the 
highest priority in this third bill. We want to make sure we put money 
in there for hospitals and for healthcare to respond to this crisis, 
and I will tell you that progress has been made. Since the negotiation 
between Senator Schumer and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has been under 
way, we have made progress, and I hope that if we can hold it, we will 
have a dramatic increase in the amount of money that was originally in 
the McConnell bill for this purpose when it comes to hospitals.
  I also want to say a word about the unemployment insurance. This is a 
proposal that comes from the Democratic side but has been embraced by 
many Republicans as well, and the notion behind it is that those 
workers who cannot go to work, because there is no work to be done or 
they have been furloughed or lost their jobs, would have access to the 
highest levels of unemployment compensation in our Nation's history. 
Now, we think that this is a significant change and even a significant 
restructuring of unemployment insurance to reflect the current crisis 
we face.
  I don't run away from this issue of restructuring. I have heard many 
Republican critics, but when it comes to unemployment insurance, we 
are, in fact, restructuring it. The payments that were generally made 
in my State of Illinois and in other States were just not sufficient 
for those to maintain a family and pay their bills during times of 
economic crisis. So we have started moving toward an amount for 
individual workers closer to what they were paid at work, and we 
believe that this should be done over a long period of time. To say 3 
months is enough may be a rosy scenario, which we hope will occur, but 
it may not. We want to give these workers the assurance that they can 
keep their families together and pay their basic bills, even if they 
are not going to work because of this public health crisis, which we 
are facing.
  Is that restructuring? I think it is. Is it necessary? Certainly, it 
is, and it has been agreed to on a bipartisan basis. That is one of the 
things that we don't believe the McConnell bill, originally proposed to 
us on Sunday, really addressed in a fulsome and complete way.
  We have made it our kind of standard on the Democratic side to make 
certain that we measure every proposal for economic recovery against 
the workers and working families of America--not what it does in the 
boardroom but what it does in the family room of individual families 
who still get those bills in the mail and still face the pressures of 
being out of work and wondering if there is enough money to get by.
  We know that a majority of Americans do not have savings of $400 or 
more. Many of them live week to week, not paycheck to paycheck, and we 
want to make certain that they have that peace of mind. We have 
measured every proposal for economic recovery against working families 
in America and against the individual workers and the challenges they 
face.
  There has been a complaint that we raised the issue of collective 
bargaining. We want to make certain that when we give money to 
corporations, it does not change the status of the workers whom they 
have bargained with over the years. We are going to wait, of course, 
for another day to consider future contracts and work contracts, but 
for the time being, we want to make certain that whatever money is 
going into the corporation respects the existing rights of workers 
under their collective bargaining agreements. I don't think that is a 
radical notion. Corporations are going to continue to operate under the 
laws of America. I think that the workers should be entitled to the 
rights that have been granted to them under their collective bargaining 
agreements, and that is basically the bottom line for us when it comes 
to collective bargaining
  When it comes to loans to corporations, that is where we have a 
serious problem with the McConnell bill. There was a provision in 
Senator McConnell's bill, which he calls a bipartisan bill--and I 
acknowledge that, in part, it was--but there was a provision that was 
far from bipartisan. It was a provision which said when it came to 
loaning money to corporations, the Treasury Secretary could waive the 
disclosure of that loan for up to 6 months. That is unacceptable to me, 
and it was to most of us on the Democratic side.
  We believe that if billions of dollars are flowing through the 
decision of the Treasury Secretary to individual corporations, there 
should be transparency and accountability: Who is receiving the money, 
under what conditions, and what is going to happen with the money that 
is being sent--taxpayer money that is being sent--for this purpose?
  So we have insisted, as we sit down in negotiation here, for this 
accountability and transparency when it comes to these massive 
amounts--billions of dollars--that could be transferred by the decision 
of one person in the administration. I don't think that is too much to 
ask. We should be held accountable as Members of the Senate and the 
House of Representatives for the money that is appropriated when we 
allocate it, and the administration should be held to the same basic 
standard.
  We also believe that when it comes to the basic standards, we have 
been burned once and don't want to be burned a second time. For those 
of us who voted for past legislation to give money to corporations, we 
want to make certain that that is for the good of the economy and the 
good of the

[[Page S1983]]

workers. Sadly, in the past, we have seen, under tax bills and other 
provisions that were supposed to benefit the economy, that they ended 
up being a windfall for executives and corporations in terms of stock 
buybacks and dividends. Yes, we are holding a standard that buybacks 
should not be part of the future of any corporate assistance. We should 
be dealing with this to help the workers and help the economy but not 
to line the pockets of those who are at the highest levels of corporate 
governance. I don't think that is a radical idea. I think most 
Americans agree with it, and it is one of the things that we continue 
to argue for.
  I see my friend Senator Carper has come to the floor. We served in 
the House of Representatives together, and then he took a little 
vacation and became Governor of the State of Delaware and then returned 
to service at the Federal level in the Senate. He knows, as all of us 
do, that Governors across the United States and mayors and presidents 
of county boards, for example, are making exceptional sacrifices to 
fight this battle against this coronavirus. They are spending a lot 
more money on public health matters than they ever anticipated. They 
are seeing more claims at our State level for unemployment insurance 
than they have seen in history, and many of them are facing fiscal 
budgetary problems because of it. It is so obvious. We have seen 
dramatic leadership when it comes to the Governors.
  One of our colleagues of the House, Mike DeWine, now the Republican 
Governor of Ohio, has made some, I think, significant, important, and 
good decisions for his State. Some of those have involved more spending 
by the State of Ohio than he ever could have anticipated. The same 
thing is true for J.B. Pritzker in the State of Illinois. I talk to him 
virtually every single day. We text many times during the day, and I 
know that he is spending money that he thinks is necessary to save 
lives in Illinois.
  So the point I am making is that we want to make sure that the bill 
that emerges helps State and local governments with the fiscal problems 
they face because of this economic and healthcare crisis. I don't think 
that is unreasonable. I think it is the right thing to do, and I hope 
that we can include it. That is why the original proposal in the 
McConnell bill did not go far enough and why we have continued to 
negotiate up to this minute
  I might raise an issue of difference between myself and the Senator 
from Tennessee, who was on the floor just a few moments ago. She had 
suggested that we shouldn't involve ourselves in issues that really 
have nothing to do with COVID-19, and she used as an example the 
administration and execution of elections.
  Well, I will tell you, we went into a debate just a week or so ago in 
Illinois as to whether to go forward with the primary election. We 
decided in Illinois to do it, and it wasn't easy at all. They decided 
in Ohio to postpone the primary election. The point I am getting to is 
that the conduct and timing of elections relates directly to COVID-19, 
whether there are enough people who will be able to vote and enough 
people to serve as judges in polling places.
  So I don't know if that is being debated in the other room, but we 
should bring that issue up, because we want to make sure that, in this 
democracy, the most fundamental element of a free and democratic 
election is going to occur. I encourage all of my friends and family to 
vote by mail and vote early. We can do it in our State. In some States 
you can't. I hope we can find a mechanism to guarantee that elections 
really do reflect the sentiment of the American populace.
  Is that related to COVID-19? You bet it is. It is basic. And whether 
it is included in this bill or in a later bill, I don't think we should 
ignore it.
  Finally, let me say a word about the President's press conference 
last evening. I watched it, and I watched it because the news reports 
leading up to it raised a question as to whether the President was 
going to change America's strategy when it comes to dealing with this 
coronavirus. The current strategy, of course, is social distance, to 
make sure that you are isolating yourself as much as possible, and when 
in the presence of others, you don't stand too close, and wash your 
hands over and over. Those are the fundamentals. I mean, we hear those 
recommendations, and I think they are sound.
  But now there is a suggestion from the President that we may take a 
different course. I don't know what he will finally decide, but I will 
stand with the public health experts--Dr. Fauci and others--who believe 
that the best way to slow the growth of this infection rate in our 
country is by using some form of social distance and isolation of 
individuals and families. It is a great personal sacrifice and burden 
for many families to go through this, I know, but if, at the end of the 
day, we can reduce the number of people who suffer or die from this 
virus, it is worth the sacrifice, as far as I am concerned.
  Presidents, in times of national crisis, are expected to be credible, 
with clarity and consistency. I hope the President will remember that 
as he makes his decision on policy.
  Don't follow somebody talking on cable TV and their recommendations. 
Follow the experts in public health who have dedicated their lives to 
saving the lives of others. Even though it may not be politically 
popular to continue with this current social distancing, it is an 
approach which I believe has been proven in many other countries around 
the world to work successfully.
  The notion that we are doing damage to our economy, of course, is 
being heard. The number of unemployment claims may reach historic and 
record-breaking highs, but the fact is, if we don't deal with the 
underlying cause of our economic chaos, and that is this virus, and 
deal with it effectively, sadly, we are going to see the economic 
situation in this country deteriorate even more in the future.
  I am going to close my bottom line with this: We believe that the 
first two measures passed related to COVID-19 were done in a timely and 
bipartisan manner. They have been done in an effort to make sure the 
American people know that we can overcome our political differences and 
actually come together in a bipartisan way to serve this Nation, as we 
were sworn to do.

  There have been differences along the way. This bill that we are 
currently considering is one of such magnitude that we have never seen 
anything like it in the history of Congress in terms of the dollar 
amounts that are being debated now. We want to make certain that we do 
everything in good faith that we can to have a good negotiation and a 
bipartisan negotiation involving the House, the Senate, and the White 
House in the hopes that we can get this done and come up with a truly 
bipartisan package.
  The original bill--I mentioned four or five particulars--was lacking, 
from our point of view. I am happy to report that, in most of these, we 
have made progress since the early decision not to move forward with 
the McConnell bill. But there is more work to do.
  I think it is naive to believe this is the last piece of legislation 
that will be needed. We don't know where America will stand in 30, 60, 
or 90 days. But whatever it takes--whatever it takes--we need to come 
together as a nation, put aside political differences, and agree on a 
strategy that serves the best interests of families across our country, 
red and blue States alike, and do it here in Washington as well.
  Engaging the House of Representatives in the earliest stages of these 
negotiations just makes common sense. Whatever we agree to here has to 
head over to the House of Representatives for approval as well. So 
let's involve the Speaker, involve the Republican leader in the House--
the four corners that Senator Schumer asked for at the earliest stage 
of this conversation. To me, that is the best way to achieve it.
  For those who see an empty Chamber and wonder if work is being done, 
as I mentioned earlier, just across the hallway, Senator Schumer, who 
may come to the floor in a moment to give us an update, has been 
negotiating around the clock with the White House and with Senator 
McConnell to come up with a better bipartisan package to move forward 
from this point.
  I am going to close now with just one point I would like to make, and 
that is that many of my colleagues are joining Senator Portman and me 
in cosponsoring what we have called the remote voting amendment in the 
Senate rules. It is complex because it is the first of its kind where 
we are discussing using

[[Page S1984]]

modern technology to meet our constitutional responsibilities and 
obligations. The reason, of course, is obvious. We shouldn't be 
gathering on the floor in groups. We have been warned by the Centers 
for Disease Control not to do that. Yet we do it because we have very 
few alternatives.
  So I am hoping we can work with the Parliamentarian and with the 
officers of the Senate to come up with something that is bipartisan, 
makes sense, and protects the integrity of voting on the floor of the 
U.S. Senate.
  We need to do our jobs, even in times of national crisis, whether it 
is a public health crisis or a threat of terrorism. Let us devise a 
way--let's work hard on it--that both the Senate and, I hope, the House 
can agree on that respects the rules and traditions of the Senate but 
gives us options that make more sense in this time of special peril.
  I yield the floor.


                   Recognition of the Minority Leader

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader is recognized.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, first, I want to thank my good friend, 
the Senator from Illinois, for his outstanding work on this issue. He 
has been such a strong voice for the working families of America, for 
the people who need help. And his empathy and understanding of how 
average folks are suffering is very, very important.
  In fact, I just spoke to his Governor, J. B. Pritzker, and told him 
that Senator Durbin is working very hard on something we Democrats 
believe is important, and that is money for the States and localities 
because they are getting clobbered economically by this crisis. They 
have new expenses, and without tax returns being filed until June, much 
of their income is not going to be there because of States filing in 
concert with the Federal Government.
  Now, I will be brief. I just finished a very productive meeting with 
Secretary Mnuchin, the White House congressional liaison, Eric Ueland, 
and Mark Meadows, the President's Acting Chief of Staff
  Last night, I thought we were on the 5-yard line; right now, we are 
on the 2. As I also said last night, at this point, of the few 
outstanding issues, I don't see any that can't be overcome within the 
next few hours.
  Here are the things that we have been fighting for, we Senate 
Democrats. First, a Marshall Plan for our medical system. Our 
hospitals, our nursing homes, our community health centers--our whole 
healthcare system--need desperately needed dollars. They need them 
fast, and they need them in a very large amount.
  Hospital beds have to expand. Expanding capacity is not easy. The 
need for ventilators, for PPEs for the workers, for masks, even things 
as simple as swabs are not always available. And in New York City, New 
York State, and around the country, hospitals are going to be 
overwhelmed. Our big hospitals, our medium-size hospitals, our small 
hospitals, and the small and rural hospitals actually face the risk of 
closing if we don't help them.
  So we Senate Democrats have been pushing very hard for an increase, a 
significant increase, in money for the healthcare system. We are very, 
very pleased with what seems to be moving forward in the bill, in the 
bipartisan bill, that we hope will be brought to the floor.
  Second, workers first--the title of our Democratic plan has been 
``Workers First.'' We believe we have to put working people--families, 
average Americans--ahead of anybody else. They are losing their jobs 
through no fault of their own. Their kids are staying home because 
there is no school.
  There are so many--so many--problems that are befalling average 
people, so we wanted to put them first. That has been our No. 1 goal, 
along with the Marshall Plan for hospitals.
  This bill, as it comes forward, as it is now at least being agreed 
upon, has a lot of that. It has unemployment insurance on steroids. 
This is a great plan. What it says is that if you lose your job in this 
crisis, you can be furloughed by your employer. That means you stay on 
that employer's payroll. If you have health benefits with the employer, 
you can keep getting them. But, and most importantly, the Federal 
Government will pay your salary, your full salary, for now 4 months. We 
had asked for 4 months, and 4 months looks like what we are going to 
get when we come to this agreement.
  It will mean two things. Most of all, it will put money into the 
hands of those who need it so much because they have lost their jobs, 
as I said, through no fault of their own. So that is vitally important, 
and that will pump money into the economy probably in a better way than 
anything else could do.
  It also has a second benefit. It will keep companies intact. The 
small restaurant owner, the middle-size business, even the large 
businesses worry that if they just had to remove their workers, fire 
them because they don't have any money coming in, those workers would 
scatter to the winds, and they would look for other jobs, and when, God 
willing, this awful crisis is over, these businesses would not be able 
to reassemble. But with our plan, since they stay on the payroll of 
their employer, as soon as the crisis is over, they all can come back 
together, and that small restaurant, that middle-size manufacturing 
facility, and the service business will be able to reassemble quickly, 
and we can get the economy going again. That is another thing we have 
been fighting for.
  We have been fighting very hard that any bailout funds--money to 
industries that have trouble--have real oversight and transparency. 
That is vitally important. We cannot have the situation where, when a 
company is getting money from the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, we 
don't know about it. And we have been pushing hard that for any 
contract the Federal Government makes with a company to give it loans, 
we know of that contract in a very short period of time so that we can 
examine it. And we, in the Senate, those in the House, the press, and 
the American public will see if those things are on the level because 
we all know there was a load of dissatisfaction with TARP.
  In addition, we are fighting for oversight, a new inspector general, 
to be able to look into these contracts. We would like very much, and 
believe we should have, a congressional oversight board as well. We are 
fighting for transparency, oversight, and disclosure when the Federal 
Government gives corporations money.
  We also want to make sure that workers are put first in these 
situations so that when there are direct Federal grants and direct 
Federal loans to these companies, they either have incentive or mandate 
to keep their employees and their benefits. We are making very good 
progress in that direction as well.
  Small business--we all ache for these small business owners, probably 
second to the people who have illness in their families. We ache for 
these folks. My father was a small businessman. He had a little 
exterminating business. It was never very successful. He would pace the 
floor Sunday night at 2 a.m. because he hated going to work. So I know 
what people go through. You put your blood, sweat, and tears into your 
small business, and all of a sudden, it looks like it is blown away. 
Well, there is a very fine proposal, bipartisan, on small business that 
I believe will be in this package as well.
  So there are lots of good things here. We all know that not everyone 
is going to want every provision. We all know there are many things 
that so many of us want that are left out, but we all know we must do 
these things.
  We are not looking for things that are extraneous to this crisis, and 
I don't believe they are in this package. We are looking at things that 
deal directly with this crisis, and that is what we have proposed here 
as Democrats in the Senate. Whether it be workers first, helping our 
medical system, providing oversight and transparency in the boards, and 
helping small business, those are all directly related to the crisis. 
We need them soon. We need them desperately.
  In the last few days, we have made huge progress in achieving these 
goals. Again, I hope, I pray, that we can come together very quickly 
and pass in large numbers the bipartisan bill that will help the 
American people, who so badly, badly, badly need our help.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mrs. CAPITO. Madam President, I am glad to be on the floor right now 
to hear the Democratic whip and the

[[Page S1985]]

Democratic leader talk about the principles of a bill that we want to 
pass and wanted to pass 2 days ago.
  The principles of helping workers first, the principles of helping 
small business, the principles of looking after the healthcare system 
in its entirety--these are the fundamentals of the bill that we have 
worked on together, in a bipartisan way. Both the Democratic whip and 
the Democratic leader said that this is and has been a bipartisan bill.
  I just got off the telephone with my local radio station, and I had 
to fight back the notion that the bill that was before us yesterday and 
Sunday was a strictly Republican bill; it was not. The bill that has 
the small business provisions that the Democratic leader just said was 
worked on in a bipartisan way, which we all know was and is a great 
idea. Jointly, we agree on that. So I am glad to see the 
acknowledgement that, yes, we have been working together; yes, we have 
had conversations across the line; and, yes, we have worked on issues 
that we know are going to put workers and families across this Nation 
first.
  So I have spent a lot of time, as all of us have, talking to county 
commissioners, our mayors, the Governor, health professionals, small 
business owners, individuals, moms and dads, wondering, Is it safe to 
have somebody help me with the kids? What kind of contact should I have 
with my grandchildren? This is something I am in constant debate on 
myself with my own grandchildren.
  So I think what I get from everybody--more than anything--is not just 
the urgency of now but the urgency of yesterday and the day before. So 
I am glad to hear the leader say that we are close, on the 5-yard line 
or the 2-yard line. But let's not get into too many football analogies. 
We have all been to football games where we have been on the 2 and 
people have fumbled the ball. We can't do that because it has been 
fumbled long enough.
  So, for the past few days, I have been very frustrated, as have many 
of my colleagues. I know my fellow Senator from Iowa, who is here on 
the floor with me, and, certainly, the Presiding Officer from Georgia 
have had great angst and great frustrations that care has been delayed 
when Americans need it the most--both economic and healthcare.
  My West Virginians, they want to make sure that our hospitals, our 
community health centers, and other providers--our nursing homes, our 
extended-care facilities--have the resources that they need to provide 
the best coverage. That has been in this bill.
  I heard the urgency of PPE. We hear that all over the country, 
certainly in our State, and, also, swabs and other testing equipment. 
This is part of that bill but also our hospitals, which are hurting 
because they don't have the elective surgeries; they don't have the 
revenues to keep them going.
  The $75 billion that we have in it--sounds like it may be more--fine, 
good. Let's keep our hospitals going, particularly our rural hospitals 
in rural areas where they don't have the availability of healthcare 
like they have in other places.
  But, I tell you, we want our hospitals to be open. What West 
Virginians don't want is a delay in getting them the help they need 
just to score political points.
  The other things West Virginians want are the best medical care for 
our veterans. We have four medical centers. We have a very patriotic 
State that has some of the highest per-capita military and veterans in 
the entire country. We want help for our veterans.
  What we don't want is to use a crisis to advance a partisan or 
ideological agenda, which we have seen. West Virginians want to make 
sure that we have protective equipment for doctors, nurses, and first 
responders on the frontline. I talked to some of my volunteer fire 
departments. You don't think how deep this goes or how deep the need is 
for personal protective equipment until you start thinking about all 
the different ways people have contact. I tell you what--they don't 
want a Green New Deal in this bill; they want blue masks.
  West Virginians want research into new vaccines and treatments to 
help fight the coronavirus and end this epidemic. When we think about 
how we are going to get out of this, stopping the flow of the virus is 
certainly No. 1. But we also have to get confidence back that, if this 
comes back later, we have the vaccines or the therapeutics that are 
going to help people be healthier and fight the spread of the virus.
  What they don't want are regulations and bureaucracies that get in 
the way of action. Our bill helped a lot with alleviating some of those 
regulatory burdens that we see our healthcare providers fighting--at 
least in times of an emergency, alleviating those regulatory burdens.
  West Virginians want to allow more medical visits to be done by 
telemedicine during this crisis to keep our patients and our providers 
safe.
  What they don't want is to read tomorrow morning a newspaper article 
that says who are the political winners and losers in this because they 
know, essentially, people are the ones who are losing by the stall 
tactics that we have seen.
  West Virginians want to help small businesses. We are probably 99 
percent small business in our State--a small State. We want to stay 
afloat and keep our employees on the payroll.
  What we don't want is for others to not realize the urgency that 
small business is feeling. As I said, not the urgency of now--the 
urgency of yesterday.
  We just had a shelter-in-place put in place in our State. Think of 
all the impacts this has across our State and the State of Iowa and 
others.
  West Virginians want a financial boost to our families during this 
uncertain time. This is in the bill. I heard the leader talk about it 
like it was a new concept. It has been there. It has been in the bill.
  They don't want us to leave our communities without the tools they 
need to confront this crisis
  West Virginians, we always really band together. We really do 
everywhere, but I have a particular pride, I think, in my State around 
neighbors helping neighbors.
  West Virginians want us to assist workers who have been laid off as a 
result of the emergency by extending unemployment benefits. Again, it 
is in there. It has been in there.
  They don't want for us to fail to show compassion for our fellow 
citizens during an emergency.
  West Virginians want to keep educating our students. We have a 
particular issue here with our tele-education because we don't have the 
broadband. That is a subject for a different day. I know part of that 
is in this bill, but if anybody joins with me in this fight, which many 
of us have, the urgency of yesterday is here on the delivery of 
broadband services into rural America.
  What we don't want is a Federal takeover of our election system that 
requires same-day registration and places Washington bureaucrats in 
charge of our local officials. West Virginia has a primary on May 12. I 
am working with the Secretary of State and the Governor to make sure 
that our State formulates how we can get as many people voting by mail 
as possible within the parameters of the way we want to conduct our 
elections. We don't need a one-size-fits-all here. We need to keep the 
States in charge.
  West Virginians want to stabilize our economy and do everything 
possible to avoid a long-lasting economic recession.
  What we don't want is to enact Speaker Pelosi's Christmas list that 
includes new regulations on carbon emissions, wind, and solar tax 
credits, corporate board diversity reports, and a cap-and-trade program 
for our airlines.
  We have a bill before us. We have had it before us for several days. 
It is appropriately called the CARES Act because it takes care of a lot 
of the priorities and issues that we have been talking about, that we 
hear about in our tele-townhalls or in talking to our neighbors and 
talking to our constituents, the urgency of not now--yesterday. We face 
a great public health threat, and we face a severe threat to our 
economy.
  I am a total optimist about everything. My glass is always half full 
and I know we are going to get through this and I know we are going to 
survive it. I know we are going to be better for it because we are 
going to learn lessons,

[[Page S1986]]

but it sure is tough when you are in it. Even a full-blown optimistic 
person, I admit to myself and to you today, I have had some pretty low 
points during this whole thing, where I have wondered, where are we 
going?
  The last thing we need is the political debate that we have had over 
the last 2 days over programs and the parameters that were just laid 
out by the Democratic leader that were in the bill, have been in the 
bill.
  So we must come together--bipartisan. All of us work together. I work 
with the Senator from Delaware. We are on EPW together. He was born in 
West Virginia, so he can't get too far away from me, and we work 
together a lot across party lines. This is an example, and I think we 
are seeing that now. I think that, with the leader's comments, we see 
we are making great progress here.
  So I am encouraged that the deal is almost closed and that today 
might be the day that we will join together and that we will stop 
delaying care. Because today is the day--yesterday could have been the 
day, but today is the day--because I am an optimist, and I am always 
looking forward--today is the day we come together and take bold action 
for the American people. I know that is what Americans want, and I know 
that is what my West Virginians want.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cruz). The Senator from Delaware
  Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, I would say to my colleague, my West 
Virginia colleague and friend: Don't lose that sense of optimism. It is 
going to carry us through this and, hopefully, well beyond.
  I live in Delaware. My wife and I live in Delaware. We live in the 
same house we have lived in for--gosh--33 years, and we raised our sons 
there and sent them off into the world.
  Every morning that I get up and I come here, I go to the train 
station. It used to take maybe 15 minutes from my house to get to the 
train station. Today there were just a few cars on the road--no buses. 
I got to the train station, and most of the doors were closed. Up on 
the platform, I think two people were on the platform to catch the 
train that ultimately brought me down here.
  A lot of people whom I passed by on the way to the train station, 
some people had slept out overnight--destitute, asking for money. Then, 
off the train station here, an hour and a half later, in Union Station, 
walking through the train station, it was almost empty. The train I had 
been on was almost empty.
  A number of the people whom I did run into walking through the 
station and out of the station, came out Delaware Avenue to the 
Capitol, where people were, again, destitute and begging for money.
  There are a lot of people who showed up last week and the week before 
in this country to ask for and sign up for unemployment benefits. They 
never imagined in their life that they would be in this situation.
  A lot of people who signed up in the last 2 weeks for food, what used 
to be food stamps--SNAP--food benefits for their family, they never 
imagined they would face this situation.
  My colleagues call me a recovering Governor. I was privileged to be 
Governor of Delaware for 8 years. I chaired the National Governors 
Association. The Governors who met on the 50-State conference call 
several days ago, I was fortunate enough to talk to some of them 
afterward and ask them what their priorities were.
  They said, among other things: We want to make sure, when people file 
for unemployment insurance, if they are eligible for it, that it will 
actually be there; and these State funds that were created, contributed 
to by employers in 50 States across America, when they are depleted, 
there needs to be a backup. They were pleading with us to make sure 
that that backup is there.
  I am encouraged that the package that is before us today will provide 
that liquidity, if you will, for unemployment insurance so people will 
actually be able to get not necessarily their full payroll or full 
salary--full paycheck--back but at least maybe enough to get by.
  The Governors asked that we--they use the term ``plus-up'' the SNAP 
program. We used to have food stamps. We now have something called SNAP 
cards, and they can be plussed-up or down remotely, electronically, and 
the Governors were asking that we do something about that to make sure 
that not only people have at least some kind of payment coming in, 
through unemployment insurance, to their homes but also something--some 
additional benefits for the SNAP program.
  I don't think we are going to get that. We made some progress on SNAP 
in the last package that came through a week or so ago. And we 
probably, especially, need to focus on food benefits for families who 
have kids in schools. Schools are closed. Those kids used to get their 
lunch--maybe their breakfast--at their school. They are not getting it 
now. Those families, especially, are going to need some help.
  The third area I want to mention is health benefits--health benefits. 
A lot of people who have very good health insurance benefits through 
their employer are going to lose them or face the possibility of losing 
them. There are going to be people--millions of people across the 
country--who are going to sign up for Medicaid who never thought they 
would be in a position to have to do that.
  The Governors are asking that we do a little bit more to help make 
sure that Medicaid, which is partly funded by the Federal Government 
and partly by the States--that there are sufficient dollars to meet the 
demand for healthcare through Medicaid that certainly would not have 
been imagined a month or so ago.
  I want to just mention a couple of things. I see a colleague from 
Iowa is here, and I don't want to take too much more time, but I am 
asking indulgence for just a couple of minutes.
  One of our colleagues mentioned today looking ahead to the elections 
and thinking about the elections. We have great concerns about election 
security these days, with the Russians trying to interfere with our 
elections again.
  We have a Postal Service that is in dire straits. The Postal Service, 
as we know it, has faced great challenges in recent years because of 
the lack of first-class mail. People have moved off first-class mail 
into email to do business and personal communications. The Postal 
Service is in dire straits. One of the ways we could help them is to 
expand vote by mail. Every State with counties and cities that have 
primaries and general elections would be a source of revenue for the 
Postal Service going forward. It actually helps address the concerns we 
have about the Russians interfering in our business.

  In the last week or so--I know my colleagues did as well--I called 
really smart people I know who have been leaders in this country--
people like Leon Panetta, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, John Kasich, and any 
number of other people--Democrats and Republicans--just to pick their 
brains as to what they thought we should do. Some of the best advice 
from people like Leon Panetta, Mark Sandy, and several others used the 
three Ts.
  I said: Well, what are the three Ts?
  He said: When you are putting together this package, always remember 
the three Ts.
  What are they?
  He said: They are timely--whatever we do should be timely; targeted--
it should be targeted; and it should be temporary.
  I believe that is what we are trying to do with this huge package--
enormous package. I never imagined we would be dealing with one bill of 
this size and magnitude.
  Timely, temporary, targeted--we have added one to that. Democrats 
suggested this, and I think the Republicans embraced this idea. It also 
should be transparent--transparent.
  I have a bunch of quotes I carry around with me on my cell phone. 
Sometimes I need some inspiration, and I pull out my cell phone and 
look at a couple of quotes. In anticipation of saying something today, 
I looked at a few of my favorites. One is John Kennedy. I think it is 
especially timely right now. One said: ``Let us not seek the Republican 
answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer''--the right 
answer.
  Another quote I carry around on my phone is one by Churchill. 
Churchill used to say: The worst form of government devised by man is 
democracy. Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all 
the rest. What he was saying there is this is a hard way

[[Page S1987]]

to govern. It sure is, especially in the midst of a pandemic, the likes 
of which we have never seen in our lifetime.
  The third one that comes to mind is actually an African proverb. It 
goes something like this:

       If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go 
     together.

  Think about that.

       If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go 
     together.

  I think what we have coming together here is our Democrats and 
Republicans--and maybe an Independent or two--who have decided over the 
last several days that despite our differences, there is not a 
Republican answer and there is not a Democratic answer; they are the 
right answers. Hopefully, we get more right answers in this package--
which I expect we will be considering later today--than wrong answers. 
The American people are counting on us to pull together, and I think we 
are beginning to do that.
  I would close by saying that this is not the first package--
legislative package--that we prepared to adopt in the last 2 weeks or 
so. This is No. 3. People smarter than me say there will probably be a 
No. 4 and maybe No. 5 as we learn more going forward.
  The first one is pretty small, $3 billion. The second, which focused 
on a lot on testing, was over $100 billion. This one is many, many, 
many times that amount.
  I hope folks across the country will be encouraged that we were able 
to get it mostly right in the first legislative package and get it 
mostly right in the second legislative package. This one is huge. It 
took another week or so to pound it out, but I think it is probably 
better because we have gone slowly.
  I say to the American people, take heart. We have been through a lot 
worse than this in our lifetime--a civil war that killed about 800,000 
men: families against families, brothers against brothers. Hundreds of 
thousands of other women, children, and old people were killed. After 
the Civil War was over, President Lincoln was assassinated. A short 
while later, his successor, Andrew Johnson from Tennessee, was 
impeached.
  We somehow made it out of that century to get into the 20th century 
just in time to fight not one world war but two world wars--fought 
them, led them, won them. The Cold War--led it, won it. And when the 
sun came up on January 1, 2001, here is where we were as a nation: We 
had the strongest economy on Earth. We had the most productive 
workforce on Earth. We had four balanced budgets in a row. We hadn't 
balanced our budget since 1968, but we ended up in the last 4 years of 
the Clinton administration with four balanced budgets in a row, with a 
Republican-led Congress.
  We are the mightiest force for justice and the most admired Nation on 
Earth. If we can get through everything from the Civil War through the 
first day of 2001, we can get through this as well. People are looking 
to us to lead. I hope and pray that later today that is exactly what we 
will do.
  I want to thank everybody who is working very hard on our side, our 
leadership, our caucus and the Republican side, their leadership. I was 
sitting in Chuck Schumer's vestibule earlier today, and Secretary 
Mnuchin was going back and forth, and Mark Meadows, who is the new 
Chief of Staff, was going back and forth. Chuck Schumer and others--
there was lot of activity and, I think, a little more optimism than I 
have seen in the last several days.
  America, take heart. We will get through this.
  I yield the floor
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Ms. ERNST. Mr. President, we have a clear objective right now, which 
is to get additional, immediate relief into the hands of the American 
worker and to do it fast. That is what we are focused on, folks. That 
is what we have been focused on since passing the phase 1 package, and 
then the House-led phase 2 relief package last week.
  The phase 2 bill was not perfect, but I was happy to support it 
because it was the right thing to do. It was the support that Iowans 
needed. Since President Trump signed that package last Wednesday--
nearly a week ago--I have continued to hear from Iowans--those in our 
hospital industry, those in the restaurant industry, agriculture, 
trucking, retail, childcare, biofuels. I have heard from all of them, 
one-on-one conversations about the need for additional and immediate 
relief--relief for the young families in Iowa right now who are feeling 
very anxious about how they are going to make that end-of-the-month 
rent payment come April 1; relief for the nurses, like my cousin, and 
the doctors who are fretting about going into work because they don't 
have the personal protective equipment they need to prevent them from 
getting and spreading the coronavirus; and relief for the small 
business owner who so badly wants to able to keep her employees on the 
payroll so that when we get through this pandemic--and folks, we will 
get through this pandemic--she can get her business up and running and 
can keep sending her employees those paychecks. We have a lot of those 
small business owners all across our Main Streets and all around our 
squares in Iowa.
  I also think about the seniors across my home State of Iowa who are 
probably worried about access to the medical services and the care they 
might need during these very challenging times or the middle-aged 
couple who have been looking at the market and seeing those markets 
spiraling down every single day and wondering, What does that mean for 
our future and for our retirement plans?
  Folks, the American people are hurting right now. They are very 
anxious. And now, more than ever, they are looking to us. Iowans and, 
of course, all Americans need to know that we have their back and that 
their livelihoods are our top priority.
  What we have seen over the past several days is a very sad attempt by 
folks across the aisle to stall and exploit this crisis as an 
opportunity to jam through their political wish list. Folks, we can 
have those policy debates. We can have those another day. But with each 
passing minute we waste, more lives are at risk, more jobs are lost, 
and more communities are turned upside down.
  We are not going to play games anymore in the U.S. Senate. The 
American people have made it quite clear: They need relief, and they 
need it now. This phase 3 relief package is not and will not be a 
``Christmas tree'' bill. In fact, folks, it has been the product of 
hours and hours of bipartisan negotiations from five different groups. 
Those working groups have worked late into the night and over the 
weekend to come up with a good bill for the American people. This bill 
is squarely focused on getting immediate relief to millions of hard-
working Americans across our great United States.
  Just a while ago, the Democratic leader was on the floor, and he was 
touting a number of these provisions. As my colleague from West 
Virginia pointed out, those provisions the leader is touting have been 
in this package. These are not new provisions. These are not new 
provisions, folks. We should have, and we could have, advanced this 
bill days ago.
  This bipartisan phase 3 package includes billions of dollars for our 
Nation's healthcare workers and our healthcare system as a whole. This 
has been a big priority of mine--something I have heard from time and 
again from Iowa's hospitals and healthcare professionals and something 
I have called on Congress to respond to: billions of dollars for 
additional personal protective equipment and other materials. 
Healthcare workers are depending on us to help increase the supply of 
the PPE they need so that they can continue to battle the spread of the 
coronavirus and care for their patients, some of whom are our most 
vulnerable.
  There are billions of dollars for small businesses across our States 
to be able to keep employees on the payroll and pay their bills. Again, 
that is a huge priority for Iowa. Again, as my colleague from West 
Virginia stated, about 99 percent of her businesses in West Virginia 
are small businesses. That is true in Iowa, as well, with 99 percent of 
our businesses being small businesses.
  There are billions of dollars to provide direct financial assistance 
to individual Americans to ensure access to testing and a future 
coronavirus vaccine is covered at no cost--at no cost--to the 
individual and dollars going to expanded telehealth and to increase 
care for our veterans and also to provide unemployment insurance and to 
defer student loans.

[[Page S1988]]

  Folks, the list goes on and on and on. This bipartisan phase 3 relief 
package is focused on the American worker and our American family.
  Again, many of these provisions have been in the bill since the 
beginning. These are not new provisions. We need to stop these stall 
tactics. It is not time for long, drawn-out policy debates on the floor 
of the Senate.
  Folks, now is the time for action. It is time for Congress to step 
up, put aside our partisan wants, and show up for the people of our 
States.
  I am an eternal optimist, and I have hope that we will be able to 
come together and reassure the American people that they are our top 
priority.
  Each and every one of us in this body has an obligation to the men 
and the women who elected us to do our jobs, and right now our job is 
to get Americans the relief that in some instances they are literally 
crying for.
  To my friends across the aisle, I believe you know what the right 
thing to do is. Join us. Put the people ahead of party. Help us deliver 
additional relief to the men, the women, and the children of our great 
Nation. Let's pass this phase 3 relief package today.
  Folks, we all want you to stay safe and stay strong. God bless you 
all.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, with every day that passes, the number of 
COVID-19, or coronavirus, cases continues to tick up, up, and up. A 
report by the World Health Organization last week noted that while it 
took more than 3 months to reach 100,000 cases worldwide, it took only 
12 days to hit another 100,000. It doubled in 12 days. Now we know it 
took less than a week to add the next 100,000. Some of this is because 
of increased access to testing--something we knew we were not ramped up 
to do.
  More and more people are getting tested. That is good news. Those who 
have the virus can be isolated and treated, if necessary. Those who 
don't have the peace of mind knowing that they do not carry the disease 
and they can--by virtue of good personal hygiene and social 
distancing--remain healthy.
  But if we are going to have any success at slowing the trajectory of 
this virus and minimizing the economic harm, the time to act is now. 
The eyes of the Nation are upon us. They want to know if partisanship 
can be set aside in the face of a pandemic. They want us to know that 
partisanship is an indulgence we cannot afford.
  If you are trying to figure out the answer, let me recap what has 
happened in the Senate recently.
  For weeks, our Democratic colleagues agreed that this is indeed a 
crisis, that we need to act promptly and we need to shed our 
partisanship because our country can't wait. I agree. Our country is in 
dire need, and this is no time for politics as usual.
  Indeed, this has always been our custom. This has always been our 
instinct as Americans during crises like 9/11 and like the great 
recession of 2008. We would have every reason to expect that in the 
face of another national crisis, like the coronavirus, Democrats and 
Republicans would work together, but that has not been the case.
  We now need Republicans and Democrats to come together as we have in 
the past to deliver on our shared priorities to support our country 
during this unprecedented time.
  There is, in fact, broad bipartisan agreement about the result. We 
need to get relief directly from Washington to the American people as 
soon as possible. We need to provide small businesses with help so they 
can survive this storm and so that once the virus is defeated, they are 
still around to provide jobs to people they have now had to furlough or 
lay off. There seems to be broad bipartisan agreement that we need a 
freeze on student loan payments to provide peace of mind to tens of 
millions of borrowers. Employees who have been impacted by the virus 
should get support now, and they should have jobs to come back to 
later.
  Over the weekend, it seemed like we were making good progress. There 
had been negotiating between the parties, compromising. As of Sunday 
morning, it looked like we were just about there. Then the Speaker of 
the House and the minority leader of the Senate decided the crisis 
should not be wasted. They claimed all of a sudden that the deal was 
not good enough even though they themselves helped to write it. The 
Speaker in particular played a unique role in blowing this up. After 
sending the House home for a weeklong vacation, she flew back into town 
at the eleventh hour and laid waste to countless hours of bipartisan 
work.
  When the time came for a routine procedural vote in the Senate that 
would start the process of considering legislation and would have 
provided us even more time to debate it, Democrats--on a party line led 
by the Democratic leader--killed it dead in its tracks.
  It is hard to think of an appropriate metaphor during a time like 
this, but when our Nation is on fire, Democrats decided to shoot the 
tires on the firetruck that was going to put out the fire. In doing so, 
they fell in lockstep, in spite of the fact that many of them had 
helped negotiate the bill, and they flushed every ounce of progress we 
had made over the weekend down the drain.
  Less than 24 hours later, we held another routine procedural vote. 
Once again, Democrats, in lockstep, blocked us from even considering 
this bipartisan legislation, which has their fingerprints all over it. 
They claim they are still not happy with the text--or weren't at the 
time, anyway. Yet that claim clearly doesn't hold water.

  We continue to hear update after update with Senator Schumer saying: 
A deal is close. A deal is close.
  But with each hour--let alone day--that passes, the number of corona 
cases is rising. The number of people dead of this virus is rising. Our 
public health system is taking a beating. The minority leader's home 
State of New York is among the hardest hit. They now have 25,000 
confirmed cases in New York, and the number of cases doubles every 3 
days. You would think the Democratic leader would have a sense of 
urgency about getting help to his own constituents in New York.
  If there was any doubt that our friends on the other side of the 
aisle prioritize politics over the health and safety of their 
constituents, let me tell you about some of the changes they were 
after. The minority leader wanted to include in this legislation an 
expansion of tax credits for wind and solar energy. They wanted to give 
unprecedented authority to organized labor and to address fuel emission 
standards for airlines--none of which is relevant to the immediate 
crisis that is at hand.
  While these are normal topics that we would debate and vote on during 
normal times, they are not the sort of things that ought to occupy 1 
minute of our time during this crisis. While doctors and nurses have 
bruises on their faces from wearing masks and goggles for 12-plus hours 
a day, this sideshow should not be part of the minority leader's 
priorities.
  Clearly, his goal was not to make the legislation better for 
healthcare professionals or the millions of workers who lost their 
jobs. He is trying to use this national emergency as an opportunity to 
enact dramatic liberal policy reforms that have nothing to do with this 
crisis. People are dying. Hospitals are overwhelmed. Small businesses 
have closed their doors, and workers have lost their jobs. The American 
people do not have time for his games. This virus is spreading at an 
exponential rate, and we can't afford to waste time fighting one 
another over these sorts of irrelevant partisan sideshows.
  I know under normal circumstances this kind of gamesmanship is part 
of the process, but now, in the face of this crisis, it is absolutely 
unconscionable. It is reckless and irresponsible.
  A pandemic has swept across the country with alarming speed. Our 
hospitals are in need of personal protective equipment, businesses have 
shut their doors, employees have been laid off, and people across the 
country wonder just how long they can survive at this pace.
  The bill we had last Sunday would have taken major steps to support 
our country during this crisis. It would have sent desperately needed 
funding to the hospitals that are struggling to manage a new influx of 
patients and helped fight the shortage of masks and other personal 
protective equipment. It would have provided direct financial 
assistance for middle-class families. A family of four would have 
received up to $3,400 to help cover rent, groceries, electric bills, 
and other expenses in the

[[Page S1989]]

interim between being laid off and being able to qualify for 
unemployment compensation. We would have provided them a lifeline, and 
we still need to do it, and we need to do it now.
  This legislation, which we could have passed 2 days ago, would have 
delivered relief for small businesses that are struggling to stay 
afloat and ensured that their employees impacted by this coronavirus 
would be taken care of. What is more, those small businesses need to be 
able to continue to exist so that when we defeat this virus, people 
will actually have jobs to go back to.
  But our Democratic colleagues said that wasn't good enough. They 
chose to put their partisan political agenda ahead of the health and 
safety of the American people. So here we are with no end in sight. We 
keep reading reports from the minority leader and others saying: Well, 
the bill is on the 2-yard line. Well, you can have the distance and 
still never get across the goal.
  Yesterday, House Democrats released their own coronavirus package, 
which is really amazing in the face of this bipartisan-negotiated bill. 
Speaker Pelosi parachutes back into town after a weeklong vacation and 
drops an 1,100-page piece of a bill which includes a host of proposals 
that have absolutely nothing to do with solving this crisis. As I 
mentioned, this includes emissions mandates for airlines, tens of 
millions of dollars for the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, 
and early-voting and vote-by-mail requirements for every State across 
the country. This isn't a sincere effort to support our healthcare 
providers, workers, and small businesses; it is a naked attempt to use 
a public health emergency as a smoke screen for their radical agenda.
  Democrats' priority simply isn't solving the healthcare and economic 
crisis we are dealing with today. It is not. If it were, Senate 
Democrats would not have voted against a bipartisan relief bill two 
times already. And now House Democrats are flaunting a bill that does 
more to advance their agenda and does not solve the crisis at hand. We 
don't have time for more liberal virtue signaling. We need to act and 
act now.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. FISCHER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. FISCHER. Mr. President, yesterday, I came to the floor to talk 
about the need to provide relief for families across this country who 
are hurting because of this coronavirus crisis. I said that people are 
frightened, that they are stressed, and that they are looking to us to 
take action. Many people have lost their jobs. Many are watching their 
hard-earned savings evaporate. Many don't know when they will be able 
to go back to work.
  Here in this body, my colleagues and I are trying to move forward on 
a bill that would provide relief to individuals, to families, to small 
and medium-sized businesses, and to our agriculture producers. Our bill 
would help to stabilize our economy in this downturn. The Senate bill 
offers reasonable, sorely needed solutions that will help families. 
Yet, while the anxiety and frustration around this country rises, the 
other side is obstructing and delaying the relief that the American 
people need.
  Let's look at what is happening here and on the other side of this 
building.
  The House Democrats ceased bipartisan negotiations on COVID-19--the 
relief package that we have been working on--so that they could write 
their own bill. What are the provisions that Speaker Pelosi and the 
House Democrats think are critical right now during this crisis of 
unprecedented proportion like we have never seen before? It is a wish 
list about which many of my colleagues have spoken. It is a wish list 
that has nothing to do with the crisis at hand--nothing to save lives 
and no serious, new effort to provide relief.
  Yesterday, I also spoke about the fact that, in our bill, we have 
relief for agriculture. It is the only effort to provide relief for 
agriculture producers, and it was facing a Democratic effort to be 
removed from the bill. I don't often agree with the chair of the 
Nebraska Democratic Party, but she was right when she said recently, in 
an interview with The Hill, that the Democrats don't have a plan for 
rural America. According to the article, she said that the Democrats 
only address rural voters directly--people in rural communities--when 
they show up in Iowa to campaign for votes.
  To the hard-working men and women of rural America, I say to you: 
Take note. Take note on who recognizes your vital role in our country 
and who is fighting for you.
  People are sick and people are scared. As of this morning, my home 
State of Nebraska now has 62 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Addressing 
these Democratic priorities will not help our healthcare workers, who 
are on the frontlines in this fight against this virus. It will not 
help our small businesses that might have to lay off people or shut 
their doors for good if they don't get this assistance. It doesn't help 
our ag producers in Nebraska and all across the heartland who are 
working tirelessly to feed the world during these tough times.
  I will say again what I said yesterday: We don't have a lot of time 
here. I urge all of my colleagues to work together and save the debate 
on a wish list for another day. Today, let's give the American people 
what they need, and that is relief--relief for the families who are at 
home, caring for their children, and doing everything they can to make 
ends meet; relief for our amazing healthcare workers and community 
hospitals that are combating this disease, caring for their patients 
and saving lives; relief for small Main Street businesses--the backbone 
of America--that make our communities vibrant and prosperous. Let's 
give all of these great Americans the critical relief to help carry 
them through this crisis.
  I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work in a 
productive way to get this next phase of relief passed and send it to 
the President's desk as soon as possible.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Tillis). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. President, I arrived in Washington in November of 
2001, after winning a special election to serve the people of the Third 
District of Arkansas in the House of Representatives. This was shortly 
after 9/11. It was a very anxious time in the Capitol. Every one of my 
colleagues sought to find ways to work together to move major pieces of 
legislation that helped to return a sense of normalcy that Americans so 
desperately sought in the wake of the attacks.
  Given all that is at stake right now, for the life of me, I have not 
been able to understand why we have been struggling to do the same now. 
Thankfully, the partisanship that has dominated these past few days has 
subsided. It appears that we can now move forward after this 
unnecessary delay. This is vital, as we simply can't afford to wait.
  Many small businesses in Arkansas, large cities and small towns 
alike, are being forced to close during this crisis, both to protect 
the public health and to protect their families, and because of a 
shrinking customer base, as customers are urged to stay home to reduce 
the spread of the disease. The unexpected closure for small business 
owners, through no fault of their own, may prevent many of them from 
reopening by the time this is behind us. Those employed at these 
operations will be among the hardest hit financially by this crisis.
  Entire industries that are so vital to our Nation's economic well-
being have been crushed by the pandemic. The markets have taken a huge 
hit from the crisis, putting the retirement security of millions of 
American in jeopardy. And it certainly is expected that our healthcare 
sector, strained to capacity right now by the coronavirus pandemic, 
will face substantial challenges moving forward.
  Congress's initial responses in the wake of the crisis were 
promising. We

[[Page S1990]]

came together to pass a comprehensive package to dramatically increase 
efforts to prevent the spread of the disease, treat Americans diagnosed 
with COVID-19, and support research to find a vaccine. President Trump 
signed this bipartisan, bicameral emergency supplemental appropriations 
package that provided a surge in funding throughout the government--
almost $8 billion--to meet the growing challenge that we face. It 
promotes a government-wide approach, channeling the collective energy, 
knowledge, and talents of Federal, State, and local public health 
officials and healthcare professionals to mitigate the spread of the 
coronavirus and treat those who have been affected.
  After that, the House passed a bipartisan relief bill, the Families 
First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes paid emergency leave for 
workers, widespread coronavirus testing at no additional cost to 
patients, and enhanced food security initiatives. Last week my 
colleagues in this Chamber worked together to approve the Families 
First Coronavirus Response Act and the President signed it into law. 
This was the first step in our efforts to provide economic relief. We 
called it phase 2.
  There are several aspects of that bill that the Senate would like to 
have changed, but for the sake of urgency and building bipartisan 
momentum, we passed the bill without a single amendment. We put our 
differences aside and did what we believed was in the best interest of 
the American people.
  Republicans and Democrats alike agree that much more is needed to be 
done to help individual Americans negatively affected by this crisis 
and to stave off a massive economic disaster. That is what this bill 
does.
  Phase 1 provided immediate funding to address the public health 
crisis. Phase 2, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, marked 
the beginning of our efforts to address the coronavirus's economic 
impact. It has a number of helpful provisions in it, but we have to 
build upon this effort and provide more relief to the American people 
in this time of crisis.
  That is phase 3, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security 
Act, or the CARES Act, the bill we have been trying to move forward 
over the past several days.
  The CARES Act would send billions of dollars to hospital and 
healthcare providers, the men and women on the frontlines of this 
fight. It would send direct checks to millions of American households 
to offset the economic impact of the crisis and allow for a much needed 
injection of liquidity into our economy. It would expand unemployment 
insurance while stabilizing industries to prevent mass layoffs, and it 
would provide dramatic relief to the lifeblood of our economy--our 
small businesses--which have taken a massive hit as a result of this 
unprecedented public health crisis.
  We have to create a path to economic recovery. We have told Americans 
they can't go to work, and businesses are unable to operate. As a 
result of these measures, individuals are not getting a paycheck. We 
need to be helping them through this crisis by providing cash payouts, 
expanding unemployment benefits, and by ensuring that there will be 
jobs for Americans to return to when this is all over.
  This is not a stimulus plan. It is an existence plan. We have to pass 
this bill. Americans have lost faith in many of their institutions. 
This is a defining moment. We have a chance to restore some of the 
confidence that is being lost by putting the needs of the Nation over 
the wishes of the political class. Americans are looking toward 
Washington for leadership right now. This is a true test.
  Let's pass this bill and show that we can rise up to the massive 
challenge before our Nation.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SCOTT of South Carolina. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent 
that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SCOTT of South Carolina. Mr. President, today I rise to speak 
about the fact that the past 2 weeks--especially the last 2 weeks--have 
been incredibly difficult times for South Carolinians and for Americans 
throughout the country.
  As we always do, our American family has shown resilience, and so 
many are working to lift up those in need. I think about the folks who 
are going to drive-throughs and leaving tips. I have heard stories 
throughout South Carolina--and I am sure it is true throughout 
America--of folks paying for groceries for the single moms and for 
those in need behind them. I have heard of restaurants in South 
Carolina from the Halls food chain that are providing meals for single 
parents as well as for the homeless. There are so many positive stories 
coming out today and yesterday about the will of the American family to 
pull together during these incredibly unprecedented and challenging 
times. We have also learned a lot about social distancing and how to 
keep our restaurants open when folks are not allowed to go in.
  Schools have had to close down and shift to online-only learning 
environments, taxing both parents, as I understand, and teachers.
  Many workers have been furloughed or laid off. I am sure it is true 
in North Carolina, but it is certainly true in South Carolina that so 
many of our restaurant owners--I have been on the calls with hundreds 
of them talking about shuttering their entire operations. Last Thursday 
and Friday, I saw that one restaurant with several different 
locations--I think 6 locations--laid off 900 employees, all going to 
the unemployment line. Another small restaurant chain with 6 or 7 
locations laid off another 1,000 employees. In Myrtle Beach, SC, one of 
the meccas of tourism in the Nation, restaurant after restaurant, hotel 
after hotel is laying off parts of their family. Workers who have 
become family members over a decade or two of working at the same place 
and serving amazing people are today without work, today without the 
paycheck that gives them the glue to not only keep their families 
together but to keep their finances together.
  Small businesses are scrambling. I have run three different small 
businesses. I know the pain of not signing the front of the paycheck 
for yourself, not being able to sign the back of that same paycheck for 
yourself because you are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure 
your employees get to cash their paychecks. I understand the turmoil in 
the heart of the employee and the employer who simply don't have the 
resources they had just a couple of weeks ago. Even worse, because they 
did nothing wrong, they find themselves completely and totally 
exasperated, unable to comprehend and understand how outside of their 
own control, they no longer have the resources necessary to take care 
of their own family.
  We find ourselves in unprecedented times, but in these times, I am 
reminded of the entire group of heroes who show up every single day, 
and typically we are only talking about the law enforcement community 
and first responders, but today we have to add to the list of American 
heroes those folks who are clerks in grocery stores, filling the 
shelves over and over again. We have to add to that list those folks 
who are helping in the takeout delivery so folks can have hot meals 
when they go home. We undoubtedly keep in mind the true American 
heroes--our healthcare workers, the doctors and nurses and, as my 
mother has been for 45 years, nurse's assistants, showing up in 
hospital environments, putting their lives on the line for fellow 
Americans, folks they don't even know. They do so not just because it 
is their job, not just their duty, but it is their calling and their 
mission.
  We are blessed to live in a nation where everyday people understand 
that which it seems we do not in this Chamber. That is what makes the 
last 3 days so incredibly frustrating.
  On Saturday, it looked like this was all about over. We were so close 
to a deal--so close that Senator Schumer himself said on TV that he was 
very pleased with the negotiations, and he spoke about how bipartisan 
the negotiations were. And then the Speaker of the House returned to 
town, and the tide of bipartisanship seemed to be coming to an end.
  We were making real progress, and the bill text was even released, 
and then, for absolutely no reason, the Speaker's passion for partisan 
hogwash

[[Page S1991]]

started causing the type of delay that doesn't simply cripple our 
economy but imperils our healthcare response to the people who are 
infected by the coronavirus. It impairs our response to the healthcare 
workers who are providing the response. It compromises our ability to 
respond with the PPE or, said differently, the material, equipment, and 
the uniforms necessary to protect the healthcare workers.
  I honestly cannot believe we are still here not having already passed 
legislation that would make such a big difference in the lives of so 
many. Instead, we have to waste time explaining to the Speaker and to 
some of our friends on the other side that airline fuel emissions is 
not important in this legislation. We can debate that at another time. 
If you want the airline industry to be carbon neutral by 2025, let's 
have that debate, but let's not have it when people are desperately 
searching for help. We may even debate the importance of same-day 
registration and early voting, but let's not hold up $1 trillion-plus 
from the hands of the people who can't take care of their families 
because of a strong desire to use this crisis to achieve partisan ends.
  We all should be interested in diversity, but let's not hold up 
assistance to families because some folks, like the Speaker, want to 
use this legislation as a way to bring diversity to boards. This is not 
a place for this debate. This conversation should be a conversation 
about our healthcare workers, about those infected and those impacted, 
not about partisan political gains.
  Imagine that--wasting time on 1,119 pages of the Speaker's political 
hierarchy.
  Thankfully, the American people are smarter and more resilient than 
those folks in Congress. The American people may be concerned, and they 
may feel the sense of uncertainty about how long--weeks or months--that 
this will play out, but they know what we need: Immediate help for 
workers, for small businesses, and for healthcare professionals.
  That is why, in this legislation, we fund hospitals. More than $70 
billion for hospitals are being held up right now. More than $20 
billion for veterans are held up right now. Tens of billions of dollars 
for vaccines, billions of dollars for the CDC, billions of dollars for 
FEMA, billions of dollars in block grants for the States, and tens of 
billions of dollars of emergency assistance for public transportation 
so you can get there are held up.
  What are they blocking? Well, they are blocking hundreds of billions 
of dollars in unemployment relief. Let me say it differently. In South 
Carolina, the average maximum benefit for unemployment is $326 a week. 
If you are making 30 bucks an hour or $60,000 a year--$5,000 a month, 
$1,250 a week--the maximum benefit currently is $326 in South Carolina. 
It is $327 in Tennessee. In our legislation, no less than an additional 
$600 would flow to the unemployed. It is not just the traditional 
unemployed, as we have always defined it, but we have expanded the 
definition of unemployment, who would be eligible, to include the 1099 
or the person working for themselves because we want to make sure that 
the average person in this Nation, who is taking the risk and taking 
the chance to do something that they have always dreamed of doing, and 
they are working for themselves--that if this crisis has caused you to 
lose your paycheck and you are self-employed, we, in a bipartisan 
fashion, wove together legislation that takes you into consideration. 
So instead of giving the $326 in South Carolina or the $327 in 
Tennessee, you receive more than an additional $600 on top of that 
because we know the crisis that you are in is not of your own making.
  We provide direct payments in this bill. It is very controversial and 
very debatable, but here it is, a minimum of up to $75,000 in 
individual income, $150,000 in household income. With two parents 
working, 75,000 and 75,000, you can get up to $1,200 per working adult 
and $500 for the children. That is $3,000 almost held up in a partisan 
debate.
  As a small business owner, knowing how hard it is to keep employees 
when business is ripped out of your hand and you did nothing wrong, 
this legislation provides loans to keep your employees on the payroll 
if that is something that makes sense. If you use the funds that you 
borrow to keep your employees on the payroll, it becomes more of a 
grant than a loan. That is a good thing because it is far cheaper for 
your employer to keep you on the payroll than it is to gamble on the 
unemployment insurance line.
  So I am thankful to the American people. I am thankful to the 
American people because they have provided us everything. They have 
provided us examples of hope, reasons to be optimistic, the picture of 
strength and tenacity and toughness, and, most importantly, in the 
midst of a crisis, they have provided us a picture of unity--people 
helping people. That is the part of the story that we haven't heard a 
lot about--people helping people.
  So, as this charade finally comes to a close, hopefully, by the time 
we go to sleep tonight, I want to tell my folks back home in South 
Carolina and the doctors in Washington State, the nurses in New York 
City, and the restaurant owner in Myrtle Beach one thing: Thank you. 
Thank you for showing us all what it means to be an American, 
especially during unprecedented times. Thank you for reminding those 
blinded by politics in Washington what the actual goal really is.
  I know America will not simply survive. America will, in fact, thrive 
in the aftermath of this crisis. I know it because I know many, many 
Americans, and that is what we do. God has blessed the United States of 
America. Let us be a blessing to each other and get this done.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, our economy is in a free fall. I just got 
off the phone with another business in Ohio that was worried about 
whether they can survive, whether or not they can keep the workers they 
have, and looking to us to try to pass something that would actually 
help.
  The bill before us does that. Yet here we are. Another day has gone 
by. More people have lost their jobs. More small businesses have 
shuttered. The healthcare crisis continues. The coronavirus is 
spreading, and we are not passing legislation that addresses all of 
those issues.
  I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with us. 
Let's come up with a bill here today.
  The bill was the result of a bipartisan process. I was part of it. So 
I can tell you that. There were four different task forces that were 
asked to deal with four different parts of the response to the 
coronavirus. Each one was bipartisan. In our case, there were two 
Republicans and two Democrats. The administration was involved. We made 
concessions. The Democrats made concessions. The legislation 
represented that. There were ideas from both sides.
  Yet here we are, 48 hours after the bill was introduced. We had hoped 
to have the bill signed into law by the President on Monday. I had 
businesses calling me yesterday saying: I am holding on because I was 
told this was going to be done by Monday.
  My hope is that those meetings that are happening behind those closed 
doors over there result in something quickly and that Democrats don't 
keep trying to add more things to this bill that are extraneous and 
that don't have to do with the coronavirus.
  This is not the time to try to get whatever your wish list is on a 
piece of legislation that is moving. These are not normal times here, 
where Members try to take advantage of the bill going through by adding 
something to it. It is also not a time to say: Let's spend more and 
more and more on everything.
  This is unprecedented. The total spending in this bill will be about 
$1.5 trillion. That is roughly the size of the entire appropriations 
that Congress normally makes. The entire appropriations that come 
through the process here, called discretionary spending, is the amount 
of just one coronavirus emergency bill.
  To me, it is a rescue package. It is a rescue package that does three 
things. No. 1, it tries to keep the doors open in those small 
businesses that are watching us so carefully right now to see

[[Page S1992]]

what is going to happen. Also, as part of keeping the doors open, it 
means that you can keep your employees.
  So goal one is to keep employees attached to businesses. We should 
all want that. That is where most people get their healthcare and get 
their retirement. That is where we want employees to be as we get over 
the hump here and begin to control this virus. Then we want to go back 
to work. We want to get the economy moving again so people can have 
paychecks and our economy can grow again.
  No. 2, we do want to take care of those people who, through no fault 
of their own, have found themselves out of work. Sadly, in my home 
State of Ohio and around the country, there are a lot of people in that 
category.
  Our unemployment insurance system is overwhelmed right now. This past 
week, compared to a week ago, we had a twentyfold increase. That is a 
2,000-percent increase in the number of people who were applying for 
unemployment insurance. Our claims have skyrocketed. It has overwhelmed 
the system. That is happening all over the country. We want to take 
care of those people.
  And, No. 3, this legislation does what is perhaps the most important 
thing, which is that it addresses the problems in our public healthcare 
system that have resulted in this response to coronavirus not being as 
strong as we would like it. Think about more masks and more gowns and 
protective equipment. Think about the anti-viral medication people can 
take--like for the flu, you can take Tamiflu. We need the anti-viral 
there to give people some comfort.
  Think about the fact that we don't have enough tests out there, 
still. Yes, it has improved, and it is improving every day, but we 
don't have enough tests. People who are asymptomatic ought to be able 
to get tests. If they are positive, then we ought to be able to trace 
it. That is what they did in South Korea. That is what they did in 
Japan. That is what they have done in other countries to try to get 
control of this. So that is all in this legislation.
  Until we solve the healthcare part of it--that last part, that third 
part--we are going to continue to have problems in terms of the 
economic free fall. We can't spend enough money to stop what is 
happening in terms of this economic issue unless we deal with the 
healthcare part of this.
  I think we are starting to make progress. But do you know what? We 
need the funding now so that the Centers for Disease Control, so that 
the States, so that the State departments of public health, and so that 
the county departments of public health can get to the point where they 
know who has this, they can trace it, and they can tell us with 
certainty whether we are making progress or not.
  One thing this bill will let us do is to develop those metrics so 
that you and I and everybody every day can see what the status is and 
how many new cases have been open that day. If we have this information 
from better testing, from better information flow, from the funding 
that is in this bill, including billions of dollars going to the 
Centers for Disease Control and back to the States, then we will be 
able to have some way to measure our success and eventually be able to 
say we are making progress and we have actually reversed the trend.
  Only then will moms and dads feel safe having their kids go back to 
school. Only then will workers feel like it is safe to go back to work. 
Only then will restaurants be able to reopen and have people coming in 
to take advantage of that hospitality. Only then will the theaters be 
able to open up and the bowling alleys. This is in this legislation 
also, in the first two we talked about, helping to keep employees at 
work and keeping the doors open for small businesses.

  Please, let's pass this right away, because there are doors closing 
as we talk. Every minute we are here arguing over stuff, some of which 
has nothing to do with the coronavirus, means another business is shut 
down and another group of employees is let go.
  This legislation says, if you are a small business, you can get a 
loan from your bank to keep the doors open. And the loan effectively 
converts to a grant, meaning that you don't have to pay it back if you 
use the loan to make your payroll, to keep people, to pay your rent, or 
to pay your mortgage.
  This is new. It is innovative. It is something that small businesses 
are excited about, but we have to pass the legislation to make it 
happen. This is $350 billion. And, again, there is total forgiveness of 
that loan if you use it for these purposes to keep your employees.
  Please, let's get this passed right away. It is going to take a 
little while for these programs to get in place. That is all the more 
reason for us not to wait another day or even another hour.
  Second, for larger businesses, there is this new fund called the 
Exchange Stabilization Fund. That is to help companies that can't get a 
loan from a bank, to be able to get help from the Treasury and the Fed 
to provide money for liquidity so they can stay in business. They may 
have little or no cash flow, but they are looking for a loan to be able 
to stay afloat. These loans don't have to be paid back. Should there be 
accountability for these loans? Of course. Republicans are for 
accountability. That is fine. But let's get moving on this.
  It is under this provision that there will be special help for 
certain industries: the national security industry and the airlines. 
Republicans are for that, but let's make sure that this is not a 
giveaway and make sure there is an opportunity for the shareholders, 
who are the taxpayers of our country, to be able to get their money 
back, just like shareholders would want to in another business kind of 
commercial loan. That is all we are asking for.
  The final thing is that, under this legislation, there is significant 
help for these companies to be able to keep their doors open--small, 
medium, and large--through some tax incentives that provide more 
liquidity during this year, 2020.
  One of the important points there is that if you do have payroll--and 
most of these companies still do--you don't have to pay your payroll 
taxes during 2020. So you defer your payroll taxes until next year or 
the year after.
  Companies care a lot about that. They tell me that is very important 
to them. That lowers their expenses, lets them keep people, and lets 
them stay in business. Yet they have to pay them back over time. So for 
the taxpayers, it is a good deal.
  There is also an opportunity here to help people directly. That is in 
this legislation. That is the second goal. The first goal is to keep 
the doors open and keep the employees at work. The second goal is to 
help people who, through no fault of their own, find themselves 
unemployed, some for the first time in their lives.
  I have friends at home I know who have been let go. They work in the 
retail business or in the hospitality business. There is just no 
business. They have never been to an unemployment insurance office. 
They never had to. Now they have to.
  So, yes, this legislation does include a little help for them in two 
ways. One, unemployment insurance is bumped up from the Federal 
Government. So every State in the country is going to have the ability 
to be sure that people who come and want to get on unemployment have 
the ability--maybe not to match their salary entirely, not total wage 
replacement, but for low-income workers, yes. And for others there will 
be at least enough money to be able to put food on the table, maybe to 
pay the rent, and maybe to make the car payment during this period.
  It is a short-term proposal. It is 3 months, but it is really 
important. It is a safety net, the unemployment insurance.
  And then, second, there is a direct payment. Perhaps you have heard 
about that. I think it is $1,200 per person, $2,400 for a joint filer 
or for a couple, and then $500 per child. Why is that important? 
Because people need some cash right now.
  Some people are not going to be able to get on the unemployment 
insurance system for a while because it takes a little while to process 
that. But they will have the ability, because the IRS will be sending 
these checks out quickly, to be able to have a little help, a little 
cushion.
  So this bill has all of that. This bill is there to help people. This 
bill is there to ensure that doors can stay open in these businesses 
and people can stay employed, to the extent possible. Let's not block 
it anymore.

[[Page S1993]]

  People said: Well, there is not enough money in here. That is really 
what Democrats wanted, to put more money in the bill. There is already 
$75 billion straight to hospitals, and then I would argue at least 
another $40 billion going to hospitals directly or indirectly through 
Medicare reimbursements and through other changes in the law that help. 
That used to be a lot of money around here.
  My point is, if that is not enough, in a few weeks Congress will be 
back. We can look at this. We will need to fine-tune this. But don't 
block the bill today because it is not enough money for whatever you 
think your needs are.
  We don't know what the needs are. Let's be honest. What we do know is 
this is an unprecedented amount of money. Congress has never passed a 
rescue package like this before--$1.5 trillion, on top of about $200 
billion that was in the legislation that passed only a couple of weeks 
ago, on top of the $8.3 billion that was in the first one. This is 
phase 3.
  Then, finally, No. 3, this legislation does provide the help to the 
healthcare system, particularly the public healthcare system, to be 
able to provide the protective gear that is needed for our healthcare 
workers, the additional ventilators and respirators that are needed in 
our hospitals, the antiviral medication that can help when someone 
tests positive to know there is going to be a way to minimize, to 
reduce the effects of this virus and the infection.
  Then, really significantly, to not only increase the testing--and, 
today, LabCorp and Quest said that they can now do 300,000 tests a 
week. We need to use the cotton swabs. We need to get them the swabs. 
There needs to be a process there to get them, but now we are finally 
starting to come online. This legislation provides funding to help move 
that more quickly, to get it going so that we can have the information 
to be able to measure whether we are succeeding or not; then, as we 
begin to measure our success, to be able to get people back to work, to 
be able to get the economy back on track, to be able to ensure people 
are out there again shopping. The consumer economy is so important.
  This can all happen, but this legislation is critical to making it 
happen, to providing the rescue to help people weather the storm and to 
ensure that, at the other end of this, we come out strong. And we will. 
We will. But it requires us working together today, right now, to come 
out from behind these doors, stop the negotiating to add more here and 
there, and just say this is a bipartisan product. Nothing is perfect 
around here, but if you make perfect the enemy of the good, you are 
going to hurt more people. More small businesses will shut; more people 
will be out on their own; and there will be more and more people who 
will be infected with this virus who otherwise could have been saved.
  So I ask my colleagues--it has already been too long--let's pass this 
legislation today. Let's begin the rescue package and begin to help the 
constituents who deserve it.
  I yield the floor
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Capito). The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. LANKFORD. Madam President, 8 days ago we started the process of 
trying to pull together this economic bill--8 days ago. We have been in 
continuous session every day since then.
  It was our belief that we would vote on this bill 2 days ago, on 
Sunday. The negotiations have gone on for this entire 8-day time 
period. Republicans and Democrats have been meeting together every day, 
working through the process--Republican chairmen, Democratic ranking 
members, sharing ideas.
  Eight days ago, Senator Schumer presented a list 10 pages long of 
ideas and priorities that the Democrats wanted to include in the 
economic relief package. Multiple of those areas are included in this 
final package, in this compiled package that had all come together and 
was all headed toward trying to vote on it on Sunday.
  Then Sunday happened, and it was: We are close. That wasn't the 
answer of, We are voting on it. It was suddenly the negotiations are 
``We are close,'' and a whole new set of priorities suddenly appeared 
from our Democratic colleagues to say, well, we have a few more things 
that we want to do and a few more things that we want to evaluate. ``We 
are close'' is all we heard.
  We thought we were done. For the sake of the American people, we need 
to be done. We have folks at home across the entire country who are 
trying to figure out if they can get a loan, if they can keep their 
business going, if they can keep their employees. They have no income 
coming, and all that is coming out of this body is: We are close. We 
have a few more things we want to discuss.
  Here is a sample of the calls that I got yesterday: A lady from 
Southwest Oklahoma called, literally in tears, saying she has a small 
business, and there is little to no business going on right now, with 
no cashflow, and she doesn't know about she and her husband's 
retirement and she doesn't know why the bill didn't pass yesterday.
  All we could say to her was we don't know either because it was 
suddenly a new set of issues. It seemed to be all day long Sunday, 
Monday, and now we are deep into Tuesday, and we still can't get a set 
of answers.
  Painfully enough, I caught one of my Senate colleagues on the 
Democratic side and just asked: What is the problem? What is the 
holdup? Their answer was: We are compiling our list from everyone right 
now to try to get down to what our priorities are.
  This was yesterday, Monday. We thought we would be done on Sunday. 
All I could say back to them was: You are compiling your list? You 
still don't even know what all you want to be able to include in this 
bill, and we are just stalling and waiting until we can figure out what 
to do?
  We have been done, and now we are stuck waiting for the other side to 
say: I am thinking of a few more things we want to include.
  I had a lady from Southern Oklahoma call me because the daycare 
center where her daughter works has closed down. She doesn't know what 
is going to happen and wanted to know--she has heard about this 
possibility of a check being sent out to every American--that would 
sure be helpful right now--and wanted to know when that was coming.
  All I could say was: I don't know. We are waiting on our Democratic 
colleagues to finish compiling their list of the other things they want 
to add into this bill so we can even discuss it. All I can say is: I 
keep hearing we are at the 2-yard line or we are this close.
  But we never seem to get past the 2-yard line. It is always: We are 
close. Folks at home don't need ``We are close.'' They need this done.
  So let me just say, really quickly, what is in this bill and why it 
is so important to us:
  Additional money for testing, additional money for work on vaccines, 
additional money on trying to be able to go through treatments, 
ventilators, literally billions of dollars that go to hospitals and 
clinics and nursing homes and senior centers.
  One section of the bill has $75 billion and another section of the 
bill has $40 billion--just for hospitals and for healthcare.
  The hospitals are all telling us the same thing: We need help, and we 
need help right now. And I would say back to them: Would love to, 
except we seem to be parked on the 2-yard line while other folks are 
saying: We are close. We are still thinking of a few other things we 
want to get in.
  There is an immediate check that is to go out to every American to 
provide some support for utilities and the basic things because so many 
people are unemployed. To those folks who are calling us saying: When 
are they coming, all I can say is I don't know. All I hear is that we 
are close because the other side wants to include a few more things 
they are thinking about on their list.
  Already in the bill is $250 billion for unemployment insurance, with 
an increase on the amount that would come on each check. We would love 
to get that started, except we are on the 2-yard line, and we can't 
seem to get past that because the other side is still making a list of 
the other things they want to include in the bill.

  So we can't get help to hospitals. We can't get immediate support 
checks out the door. We can't get additional unemployment insurance 
going because they are thinking about a few other things they want to 
add into the bill.
  Already in the bill is help for small businesses: helping people 
retain their

[[Page S1994]]

full salary if they work at a small business--that is, a business of 
500 or less--so that they can stay connected to their employer so that, 
when we get through this virus, they actually have a job, and they can 
continue their same salary. That is an immediate offer.
  It is not like the one that passed last week that is small businesses 
are expected to pay for the coverage out of money they don't have, and 
someday the Federal Government will figure out a process to reimburse 
them. This is totally different. This is an immediate, upfront infusion 
into small businesses, and they don't have to come up with the cash. It 
is come up with for them, for them to be able to cover their employees.
  That helps their employees from going into unemployment insurance, 
and it helps this economy recover a lot faster because they are able to 
come right back to it.
  I would love to tell them: Go to your bank right now; that loan is 
ready--except I can't because the other side is still thinking about a 
few more things they want to add into this bill.
  And while small businesses can't make it through the week because of 
their cashflow because they have been forcibly closed, the other side 
is thinking about a few more things they want to add in.
  There is help in this for nonprofits that are doing amazing work all 
over my State--and they probably are in States all over the country 
right now. Nonprofits out there that I have talked to recently--
homeless shelters, but they are at max capacity right now. They are 
actually not allowing additional residents in some of the facilities 
there.
  The YMCA and YWCA, they are feeding youth in the community. The 
schools are stepping up, doing remarkable work feeding folks. The free 
community clinic has had to close in some of my communities just 
because of COVID-19, so they are trying to find ways to help out in 
other ways.
  The Hope Center that is in Woodward is doing a drive-through food 
distribution right now instead of having people come in. So they are 
getting food to them.
  We have got some of the Youth & Family Services' facilities that are 
doing amazing work right now, but they cannot make payroll right now. 
They are needing some help. Well--guess what--there is help in this 
bill for those nonprofits to keep their payroll going and to be able to 
keep going because we desperately need those nonprofits to still be 
able to provide that help in those communities.
  I would love to tell those nonprofits help is on the way, but all I 
can tell them is we are on the 2-yard line waiting for the other side 
to determine a few more things that they still want to put into the 
bill. So it is ready--maybe.
  A lot of large businesses that employ a lot of people in my State are 
not asking for grants, though they would love to get those, obviously. 
They are asking for capital. They are asking for access to loans. They 
are asking for the opportunity to take out a loan and to be able to 
make a payment. That is in this bill. There is not a bailout for big 
companies in this bill.
  This bill provides an opportunity for medium and large companies to 
get access to credit so they can get a loan to carry their company 
through. I would love to tell them: You can go take out that loan. But 
I can't because the other side is still thinking about a few other 
things that they want to do.
  We are waiting. Time is important right now.
  While one of my colleagues made a public statement yesterday saying: 
This is a $2 trillion bill; we should really get it right--oh, I agree, 
but this doesn't seem to be a matter of making sure the text is 
correct. All that I have heard for the last 48 hours is: There are a 
few more things we are thinking about that we want to be able to get 
into the bill.
  Yesterday it was solar energy panels and solar credits, which I don't 
know how it connects with COVID-19. It was forcing airlines to be 
carbon neutral by 2025. It was union representatives on corporate 
boards. It was limiting the ability of corporations to have any kind of 
access to doing stock buybacks for the next 10 years.
  All those things may be fine to debate. Why in the world are we 
holding up small businesses and holding up checks to individuals and 
cutting off support for nonprofits because we are thinking about a few 
things like solar panels and carbon-neutral footprints for airlines?
  Why don't we get this done? Time is important. People at home who 
have real lives and real families and a small business have no income 
coming in right now. They have no cash flow, and they are trying to pay 
their employees and figure out what is going to happen next, while the 
other side is thinking about something else they might want to add to 
this bill.
  I am fine with thinking through the details, but in our office, it is 
really difficult to continue to answer the phone and hear people say: I 
don't know how we will stay open any longer.
  I will tell you what--why don't you answer this call for me while you 
are thinking about what else you might want to add to the bill? A hotel 
owner in my State just closed their doors while you are thinking about 
what you want to do next.
  I am asking the other side. The bill already has these elements in 
it, and while I am confident people will step out of negotiations at 
some point and say ``We miraculously saved the bill because we changed 
five lines in it and because we added additional dollars into this 
account'' or ``This account was too low, so now we didn't give $75 
billion to hospitals; we gave $100 billion to hospitals. So, look, we 
fixed it. And we didn't give $10 billion to cities; we gave $15 billion 
to cities, and so we saved it''--well, while you are arguing about 
adding a few more dollars at the end of these different things, in the 
meantime, small businesses and people across the country are saying 
``Can I get the first dollar while you are arguing about the fifteen-
billionth dollar? Can I get some help now?'' Time is important. Let's 
stop pretending it is not. It may not be to some folks in this room; it 
is to the 4 million folks in my State.
  We were ready on Sunday with this bill and thought we were voting on 
it to finish it. Now, 48 hours later, the other side is still thinking 
about something they might want to add to this. Let's vote.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Ms. McSALLY. Madam President, we are at war. Unlike the enemies I 
fought against in uniform, this enemy is invisible, but it is just as 
deadly. Earlier today, the World Health Organization cautioned that the 
United States could be the next epicenter of this coronavirus pandemic. 
The Surgeon General sounded the alarm that things would get drastically 
worse this week. Economists are warning of a prolonged economic 
downturn that will devastate the country financially in ways unseen 
since the Great Depression.
  As of right now, more than 600 Americans have died from the 
coronavirus. In Arizona, our Governor announced this morning that the 
death toll from the outbreak is up to five. In the past 4 days, we have 
seen more than a 200-percent increase in the number of cases in my 
State. It is going to go up. These aren't just numbers; they are 
people. Our hearts and our prayers are with the grieving families who 
lost their loved ones and those fighting for their lives right now
  The Nation has embarked on a massive effort to flatten the curve of 
the coronavirus to protect the vulnerable, buy time, and ensure our 
healthcare system doesn't get overwhelmed. These aggressive steps will 
save lives, but this path creates another calamity of massive economic 
hardship unlike anything we have experienced. We are telling people to 
stay home and not work. The financial devastation is wide and deep.
  Arizonans are stepping up to do their part to save the vulnerable. 
Working people deserve relief, and their needs are urgent.
  I was home in Arizona a week ago Sunday and saw a neighbor, a single 
mom with three kids. She owns a food truck. She told me that her income 
just went to zero, with all events canceled. ``What am I supposed to 
do?'' she asked me, with her son by her side at the grocery store. I 
told her I was heading back to DC to pass legislation to get her cash 
fast for her rent and food, plus additional support for her small

[[Page S1995]]

business. She was scared. I can't imagine the fear that must be 
gripping all Arizona parents just like her who must provide for their 
families in the face of this open-ended economic lockdown.
  That same day, I ordered takeout at my favorite local restaurant. 
There was hardly anyone there when it is usually packed, and this was 
before the Governor's order to shut down eating in dining rooms. This 
is a family-owned, small restaurant where they poured their savings, 
their hearts, and their lives into building this local success story. I 
asked how they were coping, and they said they were deeply concerned. 
``What are we supposed to do?'' they asked. I told them to hang in 
there and that relief was on the way.
  More fear in the eyes of people whose only sin is to have worked hard 
and played by the rules in pursuit of their American dream.
  On Monday morning, I walked to the gate in the airport terminal where 
I usually hug a woman who shines shoes. We kept our distance, but I 
asked how the virus impacted her. She said that she had only one client 
that day and that things were grinding to a halt. ``What am I supposed 
to do?'' I heard again. I took her phone number, and I told her relief 
was on the way soon. This morning, she is waking up to no relief bill 
and a news story that airlines have plans to shut down altogether. It 
is a nightmare with no end in sight for so many like her.
  On the plane back to Washington, DC, I texted the woman who grooms my 
dog Boomer to ask how the virus was impacting her business. She told me 
that it was slowing down but that she wasn't feeling well. I urged her 
to go home immediately and stay away from people. She said she couldn't 
because she had to pay her bills. What is she supposed to do? I pleaded 
with her on text to go home and said relief was on the way soon.
  Later that day, I heard from a doctor who asked me to send a message 
of encouragement to the healthcare workers serving on the frontlines of 
the VA. ``We're gonna need it,'' he texted. ``It's coming.'' He shared 
with me their concerns about their patients and families. ``We want to 
do the best we can against an unknown enemy in darkness,'' he said. He 
went on to share that he was most impressed by the nurses and the 
support staff, like the housekeepers who do their jobs in a petri dish, 
still smiling but terrified inside. I put a short video together to 
thank these heroes, and I told him that relief was on the way soon.
  Over the past 8 days, I have heard countless stories similar to these 
from Arizonans across the State. The situation is dire, and it is 
urgent. These are real people who are suffering real harm from this 
pandemic. Relief must be delivered posthaste, bold and swift.
  Time and again, every Senator in this Chamber has promised a 
constituent that relief is on the way soon, but the actions by some 
Members in this Chamber have resulted in broken promises to the 
American people. By blocking advancement of this urgent relief package 
that was drafted by Senators of both parties, Democratic leadership has 
ushered in one of the saddest chapters in American history.
  Although I have only been in the Senate for a little over a year, I 
can say it has lived up so far to its reputation as a place where 
nothing happens fast, but with a sense of urgency, Republicans and 
Democrats came together and have been working around the clock to build 
this comprehensive relief package. We worked on this with the goal of 
keeping employees connected to employers to the max extent possible, 
and we strengthened unemployment benefits for those laid off. Working 
Arizonans need cash now to pay rent and buy food. Small businesses need 
to be rescued from closing forever. Our economy needs to be stopped 
from collapsing. Our hospitals need resources now to meet the coming 
tsunami.
  If passed on Sunday, this package would send $3,400 in cash to every 
family of four in Arizona making $150,000 a year or less. It would give 
small businesses money they don't have to pay back to keep their 
employees on the payroll and pay other overhead costs like rent. Those 
businesses are in danger of closing down in the next week or so, and 
they won't be around to provide jobs when the virus is defeated. We 
must urgently--urgently--act to keep them afloat.
  The legislation also allows larger employers that provide jobs for 
people in each of our States to take out loans to keep people on the 
payroll as their revenues plummet. Take PetSmart and Best Western 
Hotels, both headquartered in Arizona--these businesses and others like 
them provide jobs for our neighbors, and those are at risk too.
  For our frontline warriors in this pandemic fight, our initial 
bipartisan framework provides $75 billion to hospitals, more than $1 
billion to the Indian Health Service, $20 billion for veterans' health 
services, $11 billion to develop treatments and vaccines, and $1.7 
billion for the Strategic National Stockpile for essential equipment 
like masks, test kits, and ventilators.
  If you want to plus it up, we could have done it Sunday afternoon. We 
could have had that conversation and swiftly passed this bill.
  We also significantly increased unemployment benefits. Currently in 
Arizona, unemployment is $250 a week. We increased that to $850, while 
expanding eligibility for those who are self-employed, independent 
contractors, part-time workers, and gig economy workers, like Uber and 
Lyft drivers.
  All of that--that is what the Democrats blocked on Sunday and then 
again on Monday. And for what? So they could throw money at liberal pet 
projects that have absolutely nothing to do with treating the health 
and economic fallouts of the coronavirus--nothing whatsoever.
  Relief was on the way. It was all but a done deal. And then Nancy 
Pelosi landed in DC, and she and Chuck Schumer decided to blow it all 
up for their unrelated, ideological wish list. People are dying, people 
are running out of money, and they are looking for us to provide strong 
relief now, but that doesn't seem to matter to them. We said relief was 
on the way, and now it isn't.
  I was presiding over this Chamber on Sunday night after the first 
failed vote when Chuck Schumer waltzed in that door and objected to 
opening up the Senate early on Monday, instead forcing us to wait until 
noon. He gave a theatrical speech from over there, filled with flat-out 
lies, saying that we had set ``an artificial deadline'' to pass this 
bill. An artificial deadline for whom?
  The following day was the deadliest day in the U.S. fight against 
COVID-19, with more than 100 new deaths reported, and people in Arizona 
are losing their jobs every single day. While the Senator from New York 
may not worry about where his next meal is coming from, the people I 
talk to every day in Arizona do. In fact, they are more than worried. 
They are afraid.

  People are dying, and the Democratic leaders think this is an 
opportunity to score political points and grab power. It is despicable. 
It is infuriating. It is immoral, and it must stop.
  This is an unprecedented challenge for our country, but I am 
confident we will prevail. Just like other severe crises in our 
history, this pandemic is bringing out the best of America and the best 
of Arizona. I am inspired every day by stories of Arizonans who are 
stepping up to serve others and putting their own concerns and fears 
aside.
  During this crisis, our country is not divided. Our States are not 
divided. Our communities are not divided. Instead, Arizonans are being 
selfless and serving others. Young people are delivering groceries to 
the elderly. Healthy people are volunteering at food banks and donating 
blood. Neighbors are pitching in to provide childcare for essential 
healthcare workers. Faith communities are delivering care packages to 
the vulnerable and first responders. They are rising to the occasion 
because that is what we do.
  So here in the Senate, what are we supposed to do? Follow their 
example. Rise to the occasion. Put selfish motives aside. Stop with the 
opportunism. Stop with the ideological wish list, and start voting yes 
immediately to get relief to Americans and Arizonans now.
  I yield the floor
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Madam President, I am tempted to talk about all of the 
problems we have had in getting to this point with this legislation, 
but I am wondering if now is not the time to talk about why we need to 
get this

[[Page S1996]]

done. We have heard a lot about who is wrong and who is right and who 
is taking advantage of the moment, but this is a moment at which we 
need to do something. This is truly an emergency piece of legislation 
that deals with a set of circumstances that nobody has ever seen before 
in our country. We have a virus that people are reacting to in a way 
that both encourages them and, in some cases, requires them to withdraw 
from the normal economic activity of the country.
  This is different than 9/11. With 9/11, the American people said: We 
are going to show those terrorists that they can't slow us down. In 
many cases, people got out even more aggressively into the economy than 
they had been before. In 2008 and 2009, we clearly had a huge economic 
problem, but that economic problem didn't get dramatically changed by 
people's unwillingness to participate, but there was a concern about 
participating. Now we have, fundamentally, a very strong economy that 
people have been asked to withdraw from or have chosen to withdraw from 
or have been advised to withdraw from, and we need to figure out what 
to do about that both on the healthcare side and on the economic side.
  Our role here is limited. We can't legislate an end to the 
coronavirus. If we could, we would. We can't legislate exactly how 
people will behave, and if we could, we probably shouldn't. We can't 
tell people they have to wash their hands. We can talk a lot about the 
washing of hands, but, legislatively, there are a lot of limits there. 
There are some things we can do, and now is the time to do the things 
we can do.
  How do we get the most help to the most people in the quickest way?
  I hope we can come together today, in the next few hours, and decide 
that the moment is more important than everybody's winning everything 
one would like to win, for this is not the moment in which to make the 
most of it because it will not come around again. Frankly, in my view, 
it is going to come around again pretty quickly. I would say that the 
minute we are done with phase 3, we will start talking about phase 4 
because all of us know that phase 3 can't include everything that needs 
to be included and that it can't look at some of the details that will 
become only more available and obvious after we get into phase 3.
  What do we have to do right now?
  First of all, we have to create a way for people to see immediate 
cash assistance coming for expenses they didn't have before--either 
healthcare expenses they didn't have before or childcare expenses they 
didn't have before or other kinds of expenses. In many cases, we are 
going to see many, many more people who will have new or current 
expenses but will not have the income they had before.
  Under this bill, a typical middle-class family of four would get 
somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000 to $4,000 sometime in the early 
days of April. We will immediately begin to talk about whether that 
needs to be repeated again as the summer progresses, but that is not 
the point right now. The point is, what happens 2 and 3 weeks from now?
  This bill will and should provide emergency funds for food and 
nutrition programs. It will create a temporary pandemic unemployment 
assistance program to give assistance to workers who normally wouldn't 
be eligible for unemployment yet or who wouldn't be eligible at a rate 
that would sustain their families' expenses. This would include an 
additional $600 a week for every recipient of unemployment insurance 
for the next 3 weeks. By the time we are done, it might be longer than 
3 weeks, but the goal here is to get money into the hands of families 
and, more importantly, to let them know that this money is on the way.
  We need to help small businesses that are, in many cases, being told 
they have to close. Restaurants and other retail businesses have been 
told by Governors in several States that they have to close their 
businesses--that they can't be in those businesses. If you are in the 
restaurant business, you might still be able to open and have a 
business, but it will no longer be the business you used to have, 
wherein people would come in and sit down and order or would come in 
and order and then sit down and the staffing is different. People are 
going to the unemployment lines and on the unemployment rolls.
  Part of the goal of this legislation is to see that this doesn't 
happen. The goal is to make loans available to small businesspeople. 
One of the possible ways to satisfy those loans is just to keep your 
employees in place as part of your employee structures for as long as 
you can. In Missouri, we have 532,000 small businesses. More than 99 
percent of our businesses in Missouri would qualify to meet that small 
business standard. Now, it is difficult enough to run a small business 
in the best of times, but these circumstances certainly don't allow us 
to look at this as the best of times.
  This legislation would provide money to make sure that workers keep 
those jobs. It is easier to bring somebody back to work than it is to 
hire somebody for work. It is easier if we can keep those employees and 
others in place. In fact, at the Big Business level, I think one of the 
criterion for some of the potential programs would be that you would 
have to keep your employees in place, as in the case of the airlines, 
through sometime in September. Hopefully, by September, businesses will 
have recovered to the point at which it will not be a hardship to keep 
those employees in place. We would start with small businesses and then 
look at all of the businesses, using loans to cover payroll costs, 
using loans to cover interest on their mortgages, if they are small 
businesspeople, or their rent or utilities--using loans in a way that 
they would if they had their normal levels of cashflow but that are not 
there now.
  Every day we wait makes it harder for a small business or any 
business to decide: Can I keep these people on the payroll any longer 
or is the only choice I have to put them on the unemployment roll? 
Every day we wait, there are more businesses that are making that 
decision. Remember, you have no income coming in. All of your money is 
going out, and you have nothing but a vague promise that Congress is 
trying to do something about this. People are getting let go every 
single day. There are more people out of work today than were out of 
work on Monday morning. There will be more people out of work tomorrow 
than there are today.

  We can have a positive impact on that if we will just act in a way 
that will help them keep their doors open when there is any business to 
be had and to keep their people who work for them on the payrolls.
  By the way, with a small business, it is usually not just the people 
who work for you but the people who work with you--the small 
businessperson who, in many cases, is doing every single job in the 
business, at some point, along with somebody else. What can we do to 
keep the door open, to keep the people on the payroll, and have them 
ready to bounce back the minute the immediate crisis is over?
  Then we need to do things in this bill that will support healthcare 
workers and healthcare providers. This bill will make sure, I think, to 
do that in any form it is taking at this moment. Certainly, in the 
healthcare part that I have worked on as the chairman of the 
subcommittee, testing for the coronavirus is going to be paid for. It 
is going to be paid for by Medicare. It is going to be paid for by 
Medicaid. It is going to be paid for by private insurance. Hospitals 
will get relief in terms of the payments they are supposed to make. It 
will be the regulatory relief they need to have as they are trying to 
adapt to a new situation.
  Hospitals will have the flexibility with more telehealth services. We 
already put that in bill No. 2. We are trying to further refine it here 
in this bill, bill No. 3. One thing that particularly has resonance at 
this moment is telehealth. If you are telling people, ``Don't go to the 
hospital unless your doctor tells you that you have to go to the 
hospital'' or ``Don't go to the emergency room as your first place to 
go; rather, find a doctor to talk to'' or ``Don't even go to the 
doctor; rather, find a doctor to talk to,'' telehealth will allow you 
not only to talk to a doctor but also to have that doctor look at you 
and have you look at him as you talk to each other.
  We need to be sure that doctors have what we are now all calling the 
personal protective equipment, the PPEs. It is a term that, 6 months 
ago, I am not sure I would have recognized--maybe not 6 weeks ago--but 
it is very

[[Page S1997]]

much part of this discussion. As a matter of fact, it is one of the 
reasons hospitals are being told not to perform elective surgeries. 
Elective surgery is, by definition, elective, which means you don't 
have to have it at that moment. Yet, if people had plenty of equipment, 
there would be no reason for those surgeries not to happen. Make sure 
you have the protective equipment you need when the coronavirus hits 
your community.
  We need to figure out how to cut down the need for that equipment by 
expanding--again--telehealth and by not encouraging people to take the 
test who don't need to take the test because every one of those tests 
requires one to wear a pair of gloves, a unique mask, and maybe, with 
some frequency, different protective equipment. We are trying to figure 
out how to do all of that.
  We are adding funds for agencies like the National Institutes of 
Health and the National Science Foundation so they may move toward both 
therapeutics and vaccines as quickly as we can. Therapeutics probably 
happen more quickly than vaccines, but we are looking for ways to do 
that and ways to encourage their early production.
  Community health centers matter. Certified community behavioral 
health centers matter. In this bill, we are looking at how we will 
extend the legislation to allow those entities to exist, for we will 
have reached the end of the authorized period in May. There is no 
reason to have that happen in May. This bill should take those 
healthcare extension programs out longer than the 22nd of May, and I 
believe it will.
  There are a lot of competing interests here that we have to balance. 
By the time we vote on the bill, no person who will vote on it will 
think everything in it is exactly what he would like to have there. We 
don't get to legislate that way. I am just hoping that there will not 
be so much in it that I won't like that it will create a bigger problem 
than I will want to have. I want to vote for this bill. I want to get 
it done. I want to get it out there for people to see. It is harder for 
me to do that if it includes a lot of extraneous things that will 
clearly have nothing to do with this healthcare emergency. I hope that 
we will not have to make that decision. I hope we will get focused on 
the task.
  All of those whom I, the Presiding Officer, and Senator Enzi--sitting 
here beside me--have talked to have pretty good cases about how this is 
affecting them. Charities call in and say: We just had to cancel our 
one, big fundraising event of the year. Charities call in and say: Our 
volunteers aren't showing up.
  The for-profit people are impacted; the not-for-profit groups are 
impacted; travel is impacted; agriculture is impacted. We are about to 
get to the season of the year where people have community festivals and 
community fairs--the Missouri State Fair, Ozark Empire Fair, the 
carnivals that occur in our State. The 6- to 10-month travel 
destinations, like Silver Dollar City or Six Flags or Worlds of Fun--if 
you lose part of that season, that season is lost, and you are not 
going to get that May or that June or that April back. You are not 
going to be able to tack it on by saying: Well, we will just be open in 
January to make up for the people who would have been at our theme park 
in June. That is not going to happen.
  We are going to have the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, MO, some 
different time of the year than August because August is hard this 
year.
  I noticed today they announced that the Olympics in Tokyo are going 
to be postponed by 1 year. You never get that year back. You never get 
that fair back. You never get that county fair, that agricultural 
opportunity to look at agriculture and horticulture and local industry 
back once it is gone, whether it is the midway operations or the part-
time workers who make those things work. All those things are getting 
away from us, and we have to begin to look--and I think we will do that 
more in part 4 than we were able to in part 3: How do we go back in and 
make sure that, as much as possible, we protected these businesses and 
these not-for-profits so that a year from now they are still around? 
How do you miss all or part of this year's activity and still be there 
next year?
  So we have our work cut out for us. It won't end with the bill we are 
working on right now. So if anybody out there, my colleagues, is 
waiting until this bill solves every problem we need to solve, we will 
wait too long.
  Just as we were able to move forward with part 1 and get money out 
there quickly for the healthcare providers, the researchers at the 
Federal level, part 2 did more of that at the State and local levels, 
as well as beginning to think about people staying at work. Part 3 does 
all the things I have just talked about and more, but there will be a 
part 4. We have to get this done.
  People are unemployed today who would not be unemployed if we would 
have done this work on Monday. People will be unemployed tomorrow who 
would not have been unemployed if we finish this work today.
  Let's get our business done. Let's get started on finding out the 
gaps that still need to be filled. Let's do what the American people 
expect us to do and treat an emergency like it is an emergency, not 
like it is an opportunity.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Blackburn). The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Madam President, today I come to the floor to talk about 
the plight of America's small businesses, to talk about the plight of 
their owners, to talk about the plight of their employees.
  As a former small business owner myself, I am here to plead their 
case and reiterate how important it is that Congress helps them and 
helps them now.
  Small businesses are an important part of our American economy that 
help our country and its inhabitants to thrive, and they employ 
millions of people.
  Here is what Congress has done so far in response to the coronavirus 
crisis: We had package No. 1. It was $8 billion. Around here, that used 
to be a big number--$8 billion for healthcare.
  Then we did package 2, and that beefed up the healthcare needs and 
other things.
  I should mention that that package was put together by the House 
without input from the Senate. It was put together by Democrats without 
Republican input. We in the Senate saw the crisis, and even though 
Republicans saw things they did not want and things that were missing, 
the bill passed in 1 day without amendments. We held our nose and 
swallowed. We recognized the urgency of the situation.
  Now a package has been put together through task groups with equal 
representation from both sides of the aisle, and it is being decried as 
a Republican bill. This package is to take care of the second wave of 
disaster--the disaster of unemployment--massive unemployment--caused by 
government caution. Government caution is saving lives, but it is 
putting people out of work.
  The virus has closed businesses which, in turn, lay off employees. It 
has closed schools. It has changed every aspect of our daily lives, and 
it has left people isolated. It has put a strain on healthcare workers 
and first responders. It has done it in what was a strong and growing 
economy
  Why isn't there more concern for the employees out of work? Why 
haven't we already done at least the parts of this bill that give 
nongovernment employees some comfort and hope?
  The main reason is government can't identify with the small 
businessman. No one in Congress has to be concerned about how to pay 
his or her employees. That is the first place government money goes, 
even if government doesn't have any.
  Government employees--our staffs--know they have a job and they will 
be paid. Employees in the private sector don't have any confidence in 
their next paycheck in this new turmoil.
  Many have been laid off. They have lost their paycheck. They have 
lost their health benefits. The schools and daycare have closed. Their 
world has been upended. They went from a bright future to unemployed in 
a couple of weeks. Congress can't even imagine their dilemma. Congress 
is immune economically.
  A small business doesn't exist for the government; it exists in spite 
of the government. Someone with a lot of guts, determination, and what 
they think is a good idea had the gumption to start a business. They 
take risks without guarantees. Many folks, without any help from 
Congress, launched

[[Page S1998]]

new businesses to sell their products or services and were successful 
enough to hire employees.
  At that point, they built a business family. Successful small 
businesses work in that way. They know their employees and share a 
sense of pride for helping to provide for them. They often know the 
family of the employee. Usually, they work side by side with those 
employees. They share their joys and their sorrows.
  But in contrast to government, they have to sell something of value. 
They have to make a profit or they have no money to pay employees.
  None of them like to lay off employees, but we have built a backstop 
of unemployment so that the employees can still get some money. 
However, the owner of the business doesn't have that backstop. The 
owner of the business would rather be employing his people.
  But here is the dilemma we have for our small businesses, and it is 
unprecedented: Government has effectively taken their customers away. 
Government, to protect people from the virus, has virtually closed down 
everything but grocery stores, hospitals, and clinics. Government has 
even recommended curtailing nonessential medical services if they are 
not for addressing the virus or some other life-or-death situation.
  But the real sector that has been hurt is the employees in the small 
business sector, through no fault of their own nor any fault of the 
person managing the business. Government has taken their jobs away.
  Answers are available and have been worked out by a group of equal 
number from both parties, but we continue to be stopped in our efforts.
  I sincerely hope this is not about bringing down the President or 
someone trying to take advantage of a crisis in order to gain political 
achievements otherwise not possible.
  I gave a speech last Friday about the way to save the employees of 
small businesses. The package was ready then. That employee retention 
package is part of what has been held up since Sunday.
  Yes, we stayed through the weekend to get a solution before the 
markets opened on Monday, but it was voted down.
  In record time, we accepted a Democratic bill written in the House 
last week without any amendments. Now a bipartisan product has been 
held up. For what? Some of the demands of those across the aisle have 
nothing to do with the virus. There are demands for climate change. The 
economic climate has changed and is changing daily, and they want to 
wedge in some ideas they know would fail standing alone.
  I have always said the best legislation is step-by-step legislation, 
but we always try to be comprehensive. Maybe that is so that it is 
incomprehensible and too big for anyone to understand or know.
  Now, here is how the small business employee retention part works: 
Businesses across America are shut down or considering shutting down. 
Many businesses don't have any sales. No sales, no money--no money to 
pay employees or other bills that come due.
  Every truly small business owner has that experience of sitting 
straight up in bed in the middle of the night and saying: Payroll is 
coming. Payday is coming. Do I have enough cash to pay my employees? 
That comes with a decrease in sales.
  But this time many businesses are faced with no business--no 
business--and not through a fault of their own. So the only 
controllable variable is employees. They can lay off employees to cut 
costs. If employees get laid off, they can file for unemployment, but 
they lose their health insurance at a time health expenses could be 
imminent.
  Most people in government can't appreciate this dilemma. It is 
happening in the business world. In fact, the lines at some 
unemployment offices are so long, they discourage filing. And the rule 
about keeping safe distance? Wow.
  In this instance, the government has essentially shut down many 
businesses, eliminating their sales and eliminating their cash to pay 
employees. For small business, their bank says: I am sorry. I can't 
loan you any money because you don't have any sales, and you can't pay 
me back. Government doesn't have to file bankruptcy, but small 
businesses do.
  The owner probably also has to pay rent, heat, and utilities, to name 
a few essentials.
  But their main concern is with employees. They need employees. They 
need trained employees. When they lay off their loyal, trusted 
employees, they can't be sure they can get them back later.
  So this bill has a solution, and I congratulate the people who worked 
on it. One of them has joined me here on the floor, Senator Shaheen. 
Senator Cardin worked on it. This bill has a solution.
  While Congress continues to negotiate it, here is the direction it is 
heading: The Federal Government will loan the businesses the money to 
pay their employees, provided they don't lay them off and they rehire 
the ones who have been laid off. The employees keep their jobs and 
their health insurance, even if the business is closed down.
  When things come back to more normal, if the owner has been keeping 
all of his employees, that part of the money that they got is forgiven. 
They are back in business. They have the skilled employees they had, 
and business can continue to pay the employees.
  That part of the bill alone generally takes care of employees of any 
business with less than 500 employees--yes, even 1 employee, which 
would be many businesses based in my home State of Wyoming. In Wyoming 
there are a lot of communities that do not even have 500 residents. We 
are a State made up of small towns, some of which have only one or two 
businesses. And in my State, hundreds are or could be laid off each 
day. Provisions to stop that are an important part of the bill.
  Another part of the bill helps those whose business is gone. In cases 
in which the pay retention for employees doesn't work, the unemployment 
has been increased up to $600 a week in addition to the normal 
unemployment benefits.
  And to keep things intact during the transition, the bill provides 
direct payment to every taxpayer of $1,200 if making less than $75,000 
or $2,400 if filing jointly and making less than $150,000 combined. 
Plus there will be $500 for each child in the family. That is to tide 
people over while the other relief kicks in.
  But it shouldn't take long for the employer retention part to kick 
in, as all of the structure is in place now. Any community bank, any 
lending institution, can give the loan to a small business without 
having to check collateral or any of the other cumbersome steps to 
normally getting a loan, and the lender is guaranteed by the Federal 
Government.
  Loans to others. You have heard about big businesses that have lost 
their customers in response to the virus. Generally, if they have over 
500 employees, they are ineligible for the employee retention piece, 
but there are loans quickly available. There are no grants for big 
companies, just loans, and the companies are prohibited from using the 
money to buy back stock and are also prohibited from pay increases or 
bonuses to managers. The loans are at market rate with no forgiveness. 
They will have to be paid back. This is a lifeline to keep jobs.
  There is money available to State and local governments--$186 
billion. For hospitals there is another $75 billion; for veterans, $20 
billion; another $11 billion for vaccines, therapeutics, and 
diagnostics; $4.5 billion more for the Centers for Disease Control, in 
addition to what was done before; $12 billion for K-12 education; $10 
billion for airports; $20 billion for public transportation.
  These and other solutions have been held up by the Democrats. Every 
single Democrat has voted against cloture so far. They say they need 
more time to negotiate. They promise an agreement is imminent.
  My colleagues across the aisle have used Senate procedures to 
unnecessarily drag this out. Let me describe the Senate process and how 
long it can take to get a final product. It can be necessary to get 
three clotures. That means a vote supported by at least 60 Senators. 
Anyone absent counts as a no vote. Neither party has 60 Members. So the 
minority has great power. Many votes from their side are necessary. 
Anyone who is sick from the virus and cannot be here counts as a no 
vote. If

[[Page S1999]]

the virus hits Congress harder, it will be harder for us to even 
function. So we can't wait.
  Back to how cloture works and why it takes so long, bills can be 
delayed in the Senate almost a week if even one person doesn't like it. 
That is what is happening now, except it is a lot more than one person. 
A shell bill from the House has been put up to conform to a 
constitutional rule that spending bills have to originate in the House. 
What we have been voting on isn't even the real bill. It is a shell.
  A motion to proceed to the bill has to be by unanimous consent or 
have cloture filed. If 60 Senators vote for cloture, then there can be 
30 hours of debate on whether we should take up the real issue.
  To actually get to amend the bill takes another 60 votes, to allow 
amendments and another 30 hours, unless everybody agrees. After 
amendments are finished or if there is a feeling that we could be 
moving on without unanimous consent, there would be a final vote to 
close off debate. That would also take 60 votes. So the need to have 
leverage before the first cloture vote on the shell in order to 
negotiate just doesn't cut it, with the first vote or the second vote 
and the expenditure of 30 hours between each vote. That is why we 
stayed around and voted on Sunday, so maybe we could get the first 30 
hours out of the way while negotiations went on and then get to the 
bill and then get to the amendments.
  My colleagues across the aisle are using this process to forward 
their agenda even for issues unrelated to this crisis. We are not doing 
climate change as part of this emergency bill. Everything should have a 
direct connection to the coronavirus. Rome is burning and Congress is 
fiddling. This bill should take care of our country's inhabitants and 
communities. Protections for small businesses, their owners, and 
employers are vital and an important piece of this response. I implore 
everyone to vote for cloture.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Madam President, I come to the floor today, like so 
many of my colleagues, during what is undoubtedly the worst crisis that 
I have seen in my lifetime. It reminds me of hearing from my parents 
and grandparents about what it was like in America during the 
Depression and during World War II. This crisis in some ways is even 
worse because it is an enemy we can't see--the novel coronavirus, or 
COVID-19.
  Not since the 1918 outbreak of the Spanish influenza has a pandemic 
posed such an immense threat to the public health of our country. As of 
this morning, more than 47,000 Americans who have been tested have 
tested positive for COVID-19. We have actually tested more than that, 
but that is the number who have tested positive, and 593 Americans 
have, unfortunately, died from this disease. Just yesterday, health 
officials reported that more than 100 Americans lost their lives in a 
single day.
  I know that everyone in this Chamber is thinking of those families 
and those people who have been lost due to this disease.
  Sadly, no one is immune. Everyone is affected, including in my home 
State of New Hampshire. We have had more than 100 Granite Staters who 
have fallen ill from the coronavirus, and, sadly, just in the last few 
days, one person has died. My heart goes out to these families and to 
the family of the person we have lost.
  This virus hasn't only threatened the public health of the Nation, 
but it threatens our economy as well. Millions of Americans have been 
asked to stay in their homes. Schools and businesses have been closed. 
While we all understand that this is a necessary step to help curb the 
spread of the disease, it is taking a huge toll on our workers, our 
families, and our economy as a whole. The aftermath of this nationwide 
emergency could leave tens of millions of families without work or 
steady income.
  I have been working closely with my colleagues here in Congress and 
with the rest of the delegation from New Hampshire and with our 
Governor to try and think about what we should come up with, what kind 
of package would help those people who are hurting. During the past 
couple of weeks, I have had many phone calls with mayors, public health 
officials, small business owners, social service agencies, and all of 
those people who are on the frontlines of this crisis.
  I have heard from nonprofit organizations that provide vital services 
to with those with disabilities, to our senior citizens and veterans, 
and to those in recovery from substance use disorders--because even as 
we are grappling with the impact of this coronavirus, New Hampshire is 
still sadly in the midst of a persistent substance misuse epidemic. 
Thanks to the tireless efforts of advocates, providers, policymakers, 
and so many in our State, we have made strides toward curbing the 
substance misuse crisis. We are ensuring that resources are there so 
that people can get the care they need. Even though we are facing a 
pandemic, substance misuse doesn't take a day off.
  However, organizations that provide essential treatment and 
counseling for Granite Staters are also dealing with decreased capacity 
and revenue shortfalls that threaten their ability to continue to be a 
resource for their communities over the long-term. Our critical 
frontline healthcare providers, as well as first responders, police, 
firefighters, and EMTs, who are on the frontlines of responding to and 
treating coronavirus cases are lacking medical resources and personal 
protective equipment that is so necessary to do their jobs at this 
critical time. We are hearing from hospitals that are facing an 
uncertain financial future due to the crisis. All of these troubling 
situations point to the need for immediate relief so that the 
organizations and agencies that Granite Staters rely on can continue to 
be there.
  I agree with my colleagues who have come to the floor over the last 2 
days to say that Congress must act. We must act to provide relief so 
that so many Americans who are suffering can get the help they 
desperately need
  In the past 2 weeks, Congress has taken several steps to provide 
immediate help to those families who are affected by the coronavirus. 
These include emergency paid sick leave to many workers who get 
infected with the virus, who have had to self-quarantine, or who need 
to take care of family members. We provided emergency measures to 
ensure that every American, including those without insurance, is able 
to have their coronavirus testing costs fully covered. We have expanded 
unemployment insurance for those who are laid off as a result of the 
virus.
  We can and we must do more. Congress must work to address the 
economic devastation that so many are facing because of this virus. 
Just yesterday, we heard from a senior Federal Reserve official who 
warned that the U.S. unemployment rate could skyrocket because of this 
pandemic, and we are seeing that. I know that all of us are seeing that 
in our States. At home in New Hampshire, we have had thousands apply 
for unemployment insurance because they have been laid off in the last 
few weeks.
  The message from the frontlines is this: We need help and we need it 
fast, and Congress must provide that help--help for our hospitals, 
healthcare providers, and first responders as they prepare for a surge 
in demand for treatment as this virus spreads.
  We want to make sure that they have the medical equipment and the 
supplies they need to keep them safe while they are treating so many 
people who are ill. We need financial relief and paid leave to workers, 
especially to hourly workers and to those who have been laid off 
because of the impact of this virus.
  We need support for small businesses. Small businesses are the 
lifeblood of New Hampshire's economy. We have to make sure they stay 
afloat and that they pay their workers while they are closed or have 
reduced demand. We need to provide childcare and elder care for 
healthcare workers, especially for those who are being asked to work 
extra shifts. We need assistance so Americans can afford their 
healthcare treatment. That is what I am fighting for.
  We are making significant progress. We have seen movement in the last 
couple of days. I want to call out my colleagues, Senators Rubio and 
Cardin, the chair and ranking member of the Small Business Committee, 
and Senator Collins. The four of us have

[[Page S2000]]

worked together on small business provisions that are in this bill. 
Work continued through the weekend and late into the night last night 
to reach agreement on these provisions, and we are almost there. I am 
confident that in the end we will be able to deliver a package of well-
thought-out provisions that will provide over $350 billion in 
assistance for small businesses and nonprofit organizations in New 
Hampshire and throughout the country. This bipartisan package will 
provide immediate cash flow assistance so that small businesses can 
continue to pay their employees, make their rent, pay their mortgage, 
and pay their utility bills.
  The bill will also provide support to small business development 
centers, to women's business centers, to veterans business outreach 
centers, and all those resource agencies that can help small businesses 
as they try to figure out how to navigate this crisis and how to get 
the help they need.
  We are also providing 6 months of relief for existing SBA borrowers. 
Of course, to make this work, we need all those lending institutions--
our banks and financial institutions that are already on the frontlines 
trying to help small businesses. They are going to be critical to 
making this package work.
  There is much more to be done. We still need to provide funding for 
State and local governments because, as we speak, tax revenues are 
plummeting and the costs of responding to this crisis are skyrocketing. 
I have heard from so many municipal officials who are on the frontlines 
and spending money and are not sure how to replace those dollars as 
they fight this crisis.
  We need additional funding for hospitals because they are going to 
see a terrifying surge of patients in the coming days and weeks. They 
are going to have to make very difficult decisions about the kind of 
care they are able to provide, and we need to make sure they have the 
resources they need.
  We need to make sure that big corporations continue to support their 
workers through this crisis. We need legislation to ensure that New 
Hampshire nonprofits and social service organizations like those in the 
rest of the country that are in dire financial straits can continue to 
receive assistance because their services are needed now more than 
ever. Once we get through the worst of this crisis, we are going to 
need those organizations to continue to serve people in our 
communities.

  I think I and most of my colleagues here are working in a bipartisan 
way and with this administration to find common ground and to address 
the needs of the Nation.
  I have been disappointed at some of the partisan attacks on the floor 
of the Senate because I think everybody's goal is the same. It is to 
respond to the needs of this Nation, to make it clear to people who are 
our constituents and people across this country that we are here to try 
and address the suffering they are experiencing.
  Our country is hurting right now. People are looking to this body for 
leadership. That is why it is so important that we get this bill right. 
This is one of those times in history when Congress must set aside any 
political differences and where we must deliver a bill that meets the 
challenges we face because at the end of the day, we are all in this 
together.
  One of the encouraging things that I have felt as I have watched the 
news and heard from people across the country are those people who are 
stepping up now at this time of difficulty. Just this morning, I heard 
about one of our small businesses in northern New Hampshire who knew 
that people were buying out toilet paper and that supermarkets and any 
stores that carried toilet paper were sold out.
  They called down the road to Gorham Paper, which is one of our paper 
mills that is still operating that provides tissue for people across 
the country. They called them to see if they had any toilet tissue they 
could provide for businesses in the community. We have a Federal prison 
in that community in Berlin. They found out, so they called them to 
provide toilet tissue for the prison. It seems like a small thing, but 
it is the kind of thing that has helped people and made it possible for 
people to continue to see past the worst of this crisis, to see beyond, 
and to see how we can all work together to cooperate to get through 
this.
  Let's show the American people that their elected leaders can address 
the needs of this country. Let's get this bill done. We have no time to 
waste.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cassidy). Without objection, it is so 
ordered
  Mr. LEAHY. Today, the American people are making sacrifices to keep 
themselves, their family, and their communities safe. Healthcare 
providers, grocery store staff, State and local government workers, 
truckers, bank tellers, journalists and countless others are doing 
important and necessary work on the front lines of this crisis. As a 
Senator from Vermont, and a Member of this Chamber for more than 40 
years, I want to send my profound thanks.
  Right now, we are close to expressing our understanding of the 
sacrifices of the American people in more than words. I believe we are 
very close to reaching a bipartisan agreement that will provide direct 
and immediate relief to working people and families in our country.
  As vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I want to 
provide Senators with an update on the status of those negotiations in 
the Appropriations Committee between myself and Chairman Shelby. There 
is much we have already agreed upon, and I am confident that we can 
reach a deal that will help millions of Americans in need.
  Hospitals, community health centers, and the health care institutions 
we will rely on in the coming weeks and months need to be ready for a 
potential surge of patients. In our agreement, we are securing hundreds 
of billions of dollars in direct assistance for these vital 
institutions.
  Across the country, we are hearing reports of medical care providers 
and first responders reusing masks or first responders resorting to 
covering their faces with bandanas for protection. It is unacceptable. 
Increasing their potential risk of exposure to the corona virus because 
they do not have the tools and resources they need to do their job will 
only put further strain on our healthcare system to say nothing of the 
danger to those men and women. So we fought hard to include the 
resources to make sure health care, police officers, National Guard 
members, scientists and more have access to the personal protective 
equipment they need.
  In times of crisis, it is critical that we support the most 
vulnerable among us. That is why I fought to include significant new 
resources for programs that provide food to those in need, including 
child nutrition programs, SNAP, and senior meals. Sadly, as this public 
health crisis progresses, the demand for nutrition programs will only 
grow in the coming months. I also fought to secure resources for the 
homeless, who without a clean, safe place to go are at a much higher 
risk of contracting the coronavirus among themselves and spreading it 
in their communities.
  Every Member in this Chamber represents a rural community, and we 
will ensure that they are not left behind by supporting rural business 
and including help for rural hospitals, who unfortunately will not be 
spared for the impact of this pandemic, and resources to support 
broadband access, which will be critically important for keeping people 
connected as we are encouraging them to stay apart.
  We are securing funds to support child care. We cannot ask 
communities to close down their schools and still rely upon their first 
responders, medical providers, and those on the front lines without 
providing their children with a safe place to go.
  We are providing direct appropriations to support a science-first 
approach to this pandemic by providing an infusion of funding to back 
research in therapeutics, vaccines, and treatments. It is our 
communities--State and local govemment--who are on the front lines of 
this crisis, and it is our job to support their efforts. We will be 
including billions of dollars to support the services these communities 
are providing during this crisis.

[[Page S2001]]

  I have listened to the rhetoric on this floor the past few days, 
accusing Democrats of delaying critical assistance to America. This is 
ridiculous. Democrats have spent the last 48 hours fighting for funding 
and legislation that will help people, not just corporations. We have 
been fighting for more money for healthcare, more money for children, 
more money for hospitals, more money for our schools. And in the last 
few days we have secured more funding for all of those things.
  I feel confident we will soon reach a deal. The Appropriations 
Committee's component is only one part of this massive package. But the 
pandemic we face demands this response. The Senate has a history of 
being the conscience of the nation, and we must prove that history true 
again during this crisis whether it is today or tomorrow. We will get 
this done, and we will get it done soon.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CASSIDY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. McSally). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. CASSIDY. Madam President, I would like to speak to the 
coronavirus--more specifically, the Senate's response to the 
coronavirus or, shall I say, apparently the absence of a response.
  I am a doctor, and one of the most exciting things they often show in 
a TV show is when there is an emergency--there is a car wreck, 
somebody's heart stops beating, somebody faints, something like that--
every resource is brought. I have been in that situation, and when it 
occurs, there is someone who might be called--you know, runs the show, 
if you will, or the captain of the show and begins to say ``You must do 
this'' or ``You must do that.'' At that point, nicety does not matter. 
Orders are given, you respond, and things are done. That is because 
there is not a moment to be lost.
  I think I bring that sense of urgency to this situation. Our 
Presiding Officer was in the military as a combat pilot. She knows 
quite well that sometimes minutes matter. Sometimes minutes matter. I 
would argue that ``sometime'' is now.
  I have been staying away from grocery stores, et cetera, and eating 
through my frozen food. There is stuff in the fridge. Somebody told me 
they went to the grocery store, and businesses that had been in 
business last week are now boarded up. I am having calls regularly with 
small business owners back in Louisiana, and they are so worried about 
cashflow and trying to keep people on. Some have already laid folks 
off, wondering what they can do. The uncertainty is destroying their 
livelihood. If the livelihood of a small businesswoman is destroyed, so 
is the livelihood of everyone she employs. There is a sense of urgency 
that everyone in the Nation should feel but is not being acted upon 
now.
  Now, let's describe the situation, because what I actually think--I 
have tried to understand why that urgency is not here. It is not a 
general lack of urgency; it is a specific lack of urgency of the 
Speaker of the House and the minority leader in the Senate--the 
minority leader being the senior Senator from New York. It is a 
specific lack of urgency in which they attempt to leverage the misery 
of the American people so that they can achieve their political goal.
  I have thought deeply about that political goal. In fact, I have 
noticed whenever something is said by the minority leader--the senior 
Senator from New York--I have to think, well, it is opposite day, as my 
children will say. There is actually something opposite being said. Let 
me just figure out what that opposite thing is.
  So let's go through where we are, and then we will go through the 
opposite-day aspect of our conversations.
  First, people are hurting, but not just people being laid off. 
Schools have been discharged. My wife cofounded a school for children 
with dyslexia--a public charter school. Children of all backgrounds 
come and have their dyslexia addressed. It is critical that those 
children be in school. There is a science-based way for those kids to 
learn how to read, and if they have to be dismissed because of fear 
about spreading disease, then those children are not being exposed to 
that science-based curriculum, and those children are, therefore, 
losing the opportunity both to learn and to have their issue of 
dyslexia addressed. That is just one school. There are very many more.
  So, to address that, last week, the Senate majority leader put 
together a proposal where he would have Senators from the Republican 
Party draft some initial concepts--clearly not written in stone and 
clearly open to negotiation--and then meet with Democratic counterparts 
to come up with a bipartisan solution that would reflect the 
perspectives of all 100 Senators, knowing that each Senator represents 
a different constituency elected by people with a different viewpoint, 
but the amalgamation of those viewpoints and constituencies would come 
up with a wide public policy that would help to address both the 
medical crisis and the economic crisis. It was bipartisan. And I was 
struck when one of our Democratic colleagues was on a show and was 
asked about the process, and he said that it actually worked well.
  I met with the small businesspeople. I met with this Senator from the 
Democratic side and this Senator from the Republican side, and we had a 
process that worked. It worked very well on the Member level. It is in 
the leadership that it broke down. Oh, that is interesting. In the 
leadership, the bipartisan process, with a product that both sides had 
agreed upon, broke down.
  Now, let's contrast this bipartisan process, which led to a series of 
policies, with the opposite-day rhetoric that has been used by the 
Senate minority leader. The bipartisan product came up with an economic 
stabilization fund in which dollars would be transferred to the 
Treasury Department, which would then be transferred to the Federal 
Reserve to set up guaranteed loans so that an industry, not a specific 
business, an industry--think tourist industry, think healthcare, 
somebody particularly affected by the coronavirus epidemic--as a class, 
would be able to come and get guaranteed loans to keep their people 
employed and to keep their business going so that when we get through 
this rough patch, their business can restart as before.

  Now, the opposite-day rhetoric of the Senate minority leader is that 
this is a bailout for big corporations, and it was a sweetheart deal 
put together by Republicans. Oh, opposite day. It was actually a 
bipartisan deal that goes through the Federal Reserve in a way that is 
sector-specific but not business-specific with the goal of keeping 
people employed.
  The opposite-day rhetoric is that it is a bailout. These are loans--
specifically, loans that have to be paid back. By law, the Federal 
Reserve cannot take a loss. That is not a bailout. That is a loan to 
keep people employed, and it is wise public policy brought together on 
a bipartisan basis--bipartisan, Democrats and Republicans--to come up 
with a solution reflecting all viewpoints across the country.
  So, despite the opposite-day rhetoric, as somebody who wishes to 
disparage, who wishes to diminish, who wishes to depreciate a process 
that worked as the Senate is supposed to work--instead, it was 
denigrated. I kept asking myself why. Why? We will come to that in a 
little bit.
  What else about the opposite-day process? That not enough is spent on 
healthcare. I am a doctor. I went through these provisions for 
healthcare. We are spending literally--literally--tens of billions of 
dollars on healthcare, trying to find where to use it best. The 
opposite-day rhetoric is that we are not. I didn't quite figure that 
one out.
  We are not spending on the average American--opposite-day rhetoric. 
We give $1,200 to an individual and $2,400 to a couple. That just goes 
out the door. Those folks get it. That is a commitment.
  We are also committed to keeping small businesses afloat with an 
expedited process by which that small business can obtain cash and a 
loan, and that loan, the portion of which is used to keep people 
employed, is forgiven--forgiven. So if I borrowed--if I were a 
restaurant owner and I borrowed $100,000 and I use $75,000 of it to 
keep my employees employed, that $75,000 is

[[Page S2002]]

forgiven, and I only owe back--I only have to pay back $25,000. That is 
a bipartisan policy put together specifically to keep Americans 
employed with their benefits.
  By the way, if you were a waitress or a waiter, your tips were 
included in your salary, so even though you might get a smaller amount, 
you make it up on tips. We took that into account with this bipartisan 
legislation--bipartisan legislation that addressed that need.
  Opposite day--the Senate minority leader's rhetoric was that we 
weren't taking care of people. Why would he not tell the truth? Why 
would he specifically attempt to fool the American people about what 
was actually being done? I had to think about that. Why would he 
attempt to corrupt the entire process to tell the American people 
something which is not true? I am not sure about that. I am not sure 
about that.
  So we got the deal put up by the Speaker of the House in which she 
said: In exchange for the airlines being able to continue to employ 
flight attendants and pilots and ground crew and administrators, they 
would have to do an emission profile for every airplane. Hmm, I am 
struggling to stay afloat. I have no passengers, and my cashflow is 
immediately interrupted, but, by the way, let me go out and get an 
emissions profile for my airplane or else, otherwise, I don't get to 
stay in business.
  That is so absurd that I kept thinking: That cannot be the answer. 
That is so stupid. How can you label it anything else in this 
circumstance? When people are in the process of boarding up their 
businesses, that is the nonsense you would propose?
  So I kept thinking: Why would they want that when American people are 
hurting, and just like in a military emergency and just like in a 
medical emergency, it demands rapid action?
  I was just presiding before you, and as I was about to come on, I 
heard on the TV somebody speaking, the senior Senator from Illinois, 
and I got a clue.
  He was not speaking of the Senate working, where Republicans and 
Democrats come together and respecting 100 different constituencies, 
100 different viewpoints on a bipartisan basis, establishing policy 
that works for all, taking into account that Louisiana is different 
than Arizona, and Arizona is different than Maine, and Maine is 
different than Washington State.
  We are all Americans, but we have different industries, and so part 
of this bipartisan process, involving as many Senators as possible, was 
to totally reflect that which was going on.
  But I finally had my clue as to why the Senate majority leader wants 
this process to break down. It is not to be representative of us as a 
whole but, rather, that merely which he and the Speaker of the House 
can negotiate.
  The Democratic whip from Illinois spoke of the four corners process. 
Now, those who are watching may not know what the four corners are. The 
four corners are when nothing else can work, you get the Senate 
majority leader, the Senate minority leader, the Speaker of the House, 
and the minority leader of the House meeting with the White House, and 
the four of them decide on everything. There is no transparency. They 
will come out with a 2,000-page bill with all kinds of sweetheart bills 
tucked into it, totally leaving out 98 other Senators but not leaving 
out those stakeholders.
  If you are a stakeholder and you have someone on your speed dial as 
one of those four corners, you can get what you want. So in this 
opposite-day type reality, where someone speaks of bailouts, I am 
thinking: Ah, somebody wants a particular industry bailed out and 
doesn't want the scrutiny of 100 Senators looking at it with enough 
time to consider it. No, they want to release the bill tonight to vote 
on it tomorrow morning. Now, the emergency kicks in. They say: Oh, it 
is something we can think about--until that deal is baked, and then we 
have no time to consider it, and then we must vote. That is how the 
four corners process works.
  Suddenly, it dawned on me. Remember the process that I spoke of in 
which Senators from both parties came together on a bipartisan basis to 
come up with something that would provide a little bit of support--no, 
a lot of support--for the economy? Let's talk about the airlines. In 
the deal that came together with all the Senators represented in one 
way or another, where the airlines would get a loan but would not get 
free money, that is what Republicans, frankly, wanted. That is what the 
White House wanted. That was agreed to in the bipartisan arrangement 
before it got blown up by the Speaker of the House and the Senate 
majority leader.
  Do you know what I am going to be curious to see? I am going to be 
curious to see if the airlines get free money--not just a loan to 
bridge over the rough spots to keep people employed--the attendants, 
the pilots, the administrators, the ground crews, et cetera--but free 
money, and then I will understand opposite day. I will understand that 
the reason people have been talking about corporate bailouts is because 
they have particular industries which they wish to bailout.
  And those who speak of no transparency--again, opposite day--now we 
are into the four corners situation, where no one knows what is being 
put into that package because 98 Senators have been excluded.
  By the way, let me just compliment my Senate majority leader. He is 
the one who proposed the transparent process of a bipartisan set of 
Senators putting this together. So let's just drop blame where blame 
should be.
  As my Democratic colleague said on TV, it was going pretty well until 
it came to leadership.
  We will see that bill. We will vote on it after not having time to 
read it because it has been crafted in a small room with people who did 
not include Senators of both parties from different places because they 
had something they wished to put in there, and we will find out later 
what those stakeholders were able to get.
  My stakeholders are the American people. My stakeholders are the ones 
who are boarding up their buildings right now because a bill we could 
have voted on Sunday is still not decided upon because somebody has a 
special deal which they wish to place.
  The way the Senate works is not a four corners arrangement, where all 
the powers are in a group of one or two or three or four, in which 
deals are released the night before, released the next day, and no one 
has a chance to read, but some people are taken care of. Rather, it is 
to be as the Senate majority leader put up, where there is bipartisan 
agreement with an opportunity to study, to understand, to reflect upon, 
the American people are represented, and special interests are kept in 
their place. That is the way it should be. Unfortunately, that is not 
where we are now. I wish it were not opposite day, but we shall find 
out.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia


                            National Ag Day

  Mrs. LOEFFLER. Madam President, last week, the U.S. Department of 
Homeland Security recognized agriculture for its critical role in the 
United States' COVID-19 response.
  Today, in recognition of National Ag Day, I want to highlight the 
work that millions of Americans do each day to make the agriculture 
industry in America the greatest in the world.
  This industry is incredibly expansive, and at its most basic level, 
it is defined by the food, feed, fiber, and fuel it generates. But it 
is so much more. It fuels the global economy and is driven by millions 
of dedicated hard-working people who are working every day to deliver 
these products.
  These folks are our Nation's farmers, ranchers, foresters, and 
producers. This includes those who manufacture and sell equipment, who 
drive trucks and barges to move products, who provide seed and 
fertilizer, and who store, process, and market these products.
  It spans small and large businesses, from family farms to community 
banks, to universities, to science, veterinarians, and livestock 
operations.
  In my home State of Georgia, agriculture is our No. 1 industry. It 
accounts for more than 1 in 7 jobs, and we have 42,000 farms in 
Georgia.
  I grew up working in the soybean fields and the feedlot of my 
family's farm. I know firsthand how hard those in agriculture work to 
provide poultry, peanuts, pecans, cotton, cattle, and blueberries. The 
risks they take each

[[Page S2003]]

day and the exposure with global markets and changing regulations, 
technology, consumer pressures, and economic pressures--our ag industry 
rises to all of these challenges.
  This is especially true right now as our country faces the 
coronavirus outbreak. We have all seen how vital each role in our 
supply chain is, from the ground to the grocery store, and from the 
cotton gin to the global export market that the Savannah Harbor ships 
to around the world.
  Americans are used to a readily available supply of food, but in 
recent weeks, we have seen empty aisles in grocery stores. But we know 
that this is not the new normal. These shelves are quickly restocked 
because of the tireless work that is done each day by our farmers, food 
processors, truckdrivers, and grocery store personnel. Without them, 
empty shelves and food shortages would be the norm.
  Today, Americans are heeding the call to protect themselves from the 
coronavirus. At the same time, agribusiness is continually managing 
their production, processing, and manufacturing. It is not just 
planting and harvest.
  While some businesses are being forced to take measures to slow their 
operations, sadly, such as restaurants, others, such as grocery stores, 
are seeing unprecedented demand. Everyone is dealing with uncertainty 
and volatility.
  In Georgia, fruits and vegetables are being planted as I speak. 
Cotton and peanuts will be planted very soon. Some products, like 
Georgia's Vidalia onions, will be harvested in the next month.
  As we recover from the crisis in the months to come, farmers will 
still be in their fields, working tirelessly to ensure that Americans 
have access to the food and the products they need.
  As a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and 
Forestry, I am strongly committed to supporting America's leading role 
in agriculture.
  I want to thank President Trump for his strong support of American 
agriculture and for recognizing the contributions of the American Farm 
Bureau, the FFA, 4-H, and so many others.
  Last week, my colleague from Georgia, Senator David Perdue, and I 
urged the administration to support our farmers by enabling flexibility 
for the labor that they rely on for their harvest and planting.
  As the third coronavirus relief bill comes to the floor, we worked to 
support rural America by expanding telehealth, as well as funding rural 
healthcare programs that are so needed in our rural communities. This 
comes in the form of economic aid for agribusiness and farmers, whether 
through small business loans or other facilities, and to support things 
like telecommunications and broadband.
  Agriculture is perhaps the world's most important industry, and it is 
important to mark their contributions every year. But on this year's 
National Ag Day, I call on my colleagues to reflect on where our 
country would be today without the contribution of the American 
agriculture industry and without the contribution of Georgia's farmers. 
Especially as we face this unprecedented challenge, we couldn't do it 
without those who feed and clothe the world.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Rounds). The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to enter into a 
colloquy with my good friend Senator Daines from Montana.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRAHAM. He is on the way.
  Here is the state of play, folks. If you are at home and you are a 
nurse or you are a doctor and you are running out of supplies, there is 
a lot of money in this bill that will help you. We just need to pass 
the damn bill.
  What is going on here? Endless negotiations.
  Mr. President, in case you are watching, tell Steven Mnuchin to come 
back to the White House and end negotiations.
  I am all for negotiating. I try to make deals. I understand the give-
and-take of life and the give-and-take of politics, but I have been 
called by two good friends on the Democratic side in the last 5 or 6 
hours wanting more money.
  End the negotiations. This bill is $2 trillion. There is a ton of 
money in this bill for people who need it. But what we are doing now is 
every special interest group in town is trying to get a little bit 
more--nickel-and diming--at a time when people are dying--literally 
dying. Businesses are having to make a decision: Do I send my employees 
on unemployment or do I hope that Congress can act so that I can keep 
them on the payroll?
  I tried to do my part in terms of bipartisanship, but this is 
ridiculous. Steven Mnuchin has done a good job. I appreciate his 
efforts to negotiate a bill that will help America.
  Senator McConnell says we are on the 2-yard line. I believe it. The 
problem is that there are 20 people playing defense, and we need to 
take some people off the field. What bothers me is that at this late 
hour, I am still getting calls from people wanting more money.
  This is not the last bill we will do, but this is the last chance we 
have to save some lives in realtime. I am encouraging the President--
begging the President--to end negotiations now. Write what we have 
done, and let's vote. If it is not perfect, we will try to fix it 
later, but it is damn good.
  There is money in here to help people in small business who have had 
to close because they have no customers. Maybe we can change the 
containment policies, but it needs to be based on science.
  States now are sheltering in place. Anything the President does to 
try to open up the economy, count me in if it is based on sound 
science. It needs to be conditions-based. I want to leave Afghanistan 
like everybody else, but it has to be conditions-based.
  I think we are a long way from beating this disease. I want to bomb 
it; I want to starve it; and I want to kill it. But right now, I want 
to get money, paychecks up and running that have been shut down--no 
fault of your own.
  If you own a bar or a restaurant in Arizona or South Carolina, if we 
can pass this bill, you can go to a bank, a credit union, and you can 
borrow money, which we will forgive. It will not be a loan. It will be 
a grant for your employees, up to $80,000 per employee. You can borrow 
money, which will become a grant to pay the rent. We just need to pass 
the bill.
  If you are on unemployment in South Carolina, the most you can get is 
$326 a week. We add $600 to that--if we can pass this bill.
  To the hospitals on the frontline, there is a ton of money to help 
you with supply shortages on the medical side. To the nurses and 
doctors, there is money there for you. Elective surgery has been banned 
in some States. We need to help hospitals which are losing revenue. It 
is all in the bill.
  If you have student loan debt, we defer all payments, I think, until 
October. I can't remember. It is in there. That is good for you. It 
takes one rock out of your sack that you have to carry. It relieves 
your burden.
  Pass the damn bill. Stop negotiating. Enough is enough. This has been 
going on for 2 days. Like everybody else in the country, I have lost my 
patience with the political process. We are being nickel-and-dimed now. 
The big stuff we have pretty well right. If it is not perfect, we can 
fix it later, but we need to vote tonight.
  The reason I am on the floor is because I have been called by two 
Democratic colleagues in the last 5 or 6 hours wanting more money. The 
store is closed.
  Mr. President, end negotiations. Require us to vote. Draft the bill. 
Do it tonight.
  There is $10 billion in this bill--a $2 trillion bill--that may do 
more good than any $10 billion in the bill in terms of defeating the 
coronavirus. Everybody says we are at war.
  Senator Daines, do you agree we are at war with this virus
  Mr. DAINES. We are at war.
  Mr. GRAHAM. How do you win a war? I want to starve the virus, starve 
the enemy. If we will practice good containment policy and stop going 
to the beaches and interacting with each other in an irresponsible way, 
we will starve the virus because it needs human transmission to 
survive. Containment policies well-practiced will starve the virus. 
Therapies, bomb the

[[Page S2004]]

virus. The anti-malaria drugs--I hope they work, but therapies are in 
the pipeline that can take the virus from a 10 to a 1 or 2 so it is not 
so fatal. Bombing the virus is therapeutic drugs that lessen the 
mortality rates. Killing it is a vaccine or an antibody that will get 
to the underlying problem.
  Senator Daines has been a one-man band to try to accelerate the 
ability to produce a virus that is the nuclear bomb to kill this damn 
thing.
  We have $10 billion in this bill--thanks to Senator Daines--that will 
tell the drug companies that are in the business of creating vaccines 
and antibodies: Do your trials. But if there is any promise, start 
production, and we will cover you. If it is a dry hole, we will pay the 
cost; but if we strike oil, we will all benefit.
  That $10 billion is going to allow drug companies that are in the 
virus-destruction business, creating vaccines and antibodies, money to 
start production of anything that is promising--a dual system.
  Here is when we turn the corner: When infections go down, not up; 
when therapies begin to degrade the virus; and when a vaccine is on the 
horizon. That is when we have turned the corner. The money in this bill 
will accelerate turning the corner.
  I want to thank Senator Daines and my good friend from South Dakota 
presiding, who has been a Governor, who understands give-and-take, 
getting to yes. Nobody does a better job of getting to yes than our 
Presiding Officer. Both of you come from the part of the world--the Big 
Sky Country--where you have to live off the land, where neighbor helps 
neighbor. We need that attitude in this body. The store needs to close.
  Mr. President, end negotiations, write the bill, and let's vote.
  The reason we need to vote is because people are suffering and 
literally dying.
  Senator Daines, can you tell me what it is like in Montana right now?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. DAINES. Senator Graham, thank you for joining me here tonight.
  I wish the C-SPAN camera, for a moment, could pan this Chamber. It is 
empty. There are three Senators in this Chamber right now. Senator 
Rounds is the Presiding Officer from South Dakota. He has to be here 
because he is the Presiding Officer. Senator Graham is here, from South 
Carolina, and I am here.
  Senator Graham, this Chamber is empty tonight. We should be here, at 
this moment, voting.
  Our phones are ringing off the hook. Twenty-three hours ago--in fact, 
I was presiding--we were told that we were at the 1-yard line. The 
minority leader came down here and said: We are at the 1-yard line, and 
we are going to have discussions all night----
  Mr. GRAHAM. Would you yield for a question?
  Mr. DAINES. I will.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Have you gotten phone calls from Democratic colleagues 
wanting more money?
  Mr. DAINES. I have.
  Mr. GRAHAM. That makes it appear to me that negotiations are not on 
the 1-yard line.
  Mr. DAINES. We are at the 1-yard line, we were told last night. 
Negotiations would go all night. Everybody here said it has to be a 
good, bipartisan bill. But what we have right now is an economic 
emergency on our hands. This is like somebody has been seriously 
injured and called the ambulance, and we are debating right now about 
what color ambulance to send, while the patient is dying on the side of 
the sideline.
  Listen to some of these stories I had just today from the people of 
Montana. There is a 60-year-old woman who provides cleaning services in 
Ravalli County, south of Missoula. It is in the Bitterroot. It is a 
beautiful part of our State. She said that normal business is almost 
down to nothing because folks are scared to let her clean their homes 
and businesses because of the coronavirus. To make ends meet, she said 
she is even willing to do outside yard work during these times. She is 
worried about becoming homeless. This is a real story that came from a 
Montanan today.
  I posted a video, Senator Graham, about her plight and a couple of 
others I am going to share with you tonight.
  Here is a warming part of this story. We had Montanans hear about her 
situation, and they said: We are going to band together here and help 
her. We are going to hire her and try to make sure she doesn't become 
homeless, which is her current concern.
  Listen, we were told that we were at the 1-yard line last night to 
get this done. All I have to say is, the Senate may think it is at the 
1-yard line right now, but Montanans are getting sacked. In fact, our 
unemployment claims in Montana since March 17--we just looked it up 15 
minutes ago--14,350 Montanans have filed for unemployment in the last 
week.
  There was a gentleman from Kalispell--another story here--who said 
his business has been hit hard because of the coronavirus. He wrote: 
Help, both for the businesses to remain afloat and our team members who 
are being laid off or having reductions in work hours.
  He is worried about his employees. Emergency personnel in Missoula, 
MT, let us know that ambulance drivers--EMTs--must travel longer 
distances because the volunteer fire departments don't have enough 
equipment or staff. They can't get enough personal protective 
equipment.
  That is in this bill, Senator Graham--immediate billions of dollars 
right now--to get more PPE to the frontlines.
  And he said this: Many are working while spouses have lost their 
jobs. And they are wondering if they will be able to pay their bills if 
there is no relief soon. And their family members have lost their jobs 
with the community. They need relief now.
  I just got this letter. This came in this evening. In fact, it is 
stamped 7:50 p.m.

       Dear Senator Daines:
       I am the General Manager of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.

  He gave us permission to use his name. I am not going to read you the 
description of the plight that he is in, but here is the bottom line.

       I just processed 146 layoff notices, or 85 percent of our 
     staff.

  This is this evening. It is breaking the hearts of these employers to 
lay their people off.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Would the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. DAINES. It is breaking the hearts of these employees who are 
losing their jobs while the Senate is sitting here fiddling at the 
moment. We have got to come together and pass this bill tonight.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Senator Graham.
  Mr. GRAHAM. I would like to ask a question. I don't know how many 
employees the gentleman has, but do you agree with me that if you have 
500 or less employees, you are a small business, and under this bill, 
instead of laying off your employees, you can go to a bank or credit 
union and get an SBA loan that will eventually become a grant to pay 
your employees up to $80,000 per employee; you can also pay the rent 
that is coming due? Do you agree that is in this bill?
  Mr. DAINES. Senator Graham, that is in this bill.
  For these small businesses, help is on its way. But we can't send the 
help, Senator Graham, until we pass the bill. Yet the good news for the 
general manager of Fairmont Hot Springs is that, as the Senator just 
said, it will not be a loan but a grant that will be forgiven. In other 
words, he won't have to pay it back as long as he keeps the payroll 
paid, the rent paid, the mortgage paid. That makes a lot of sense.

  Mr. GRAHAM. Hire back the people.
  Mr. DAINES. He wouldn't have to lay them off today. In fact, he 
continues to write that they just canceled conferences in the last week 
that total $848,000. This is a big deal in Montana.
  In fact, another small business owner in Montana let us know, by the 
way, about two other of our well-known kind of resorts--Grouse Mountain 
resort, which is up in Whitefish, as well as Chico Hot Springs. In 
fact, Senator Graham, in 1979, Chico Hot Springs is where we had our 
homecoming dance dinner for Bozeman High School.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Everybody knows that. You don't need to tell us stuff we 
already know.
  Mr. DAINES. Listen. They are in trouble. They are temporarily closed. 
In fact, they just closed Yellowstone National Park and Glacier 
National Park today. This business owner said

[[Page S2005]]

they are currently looking at additional layoffs. They are looking at 
cashflows of nearly zero.
  OK. So, right now, we are hearing about the plight of Montanans who 
are losing their jobs and losing their businesses. There are 14,000-
plus Montanans who have filed unemployment claims, and what is the 
Senate doing tonight, Senator Graham? Look around this Chamber. There 
is nobody here. It is you and I.
  Mr. GRAHAM. If the Senator would yield for a second, all of the 
people who are negotiating are my friends. I have been in tough 
negotiations, and it is hard to get to yes, but we have never faced a 
problem like this since World War II and 9/11. This is not any time. 
This is not any bill. This is not just another legislative endeavor. 
This is life. It is death. It is the difference between bankruptcy and 
having economic hope. It is the difference between having the supplies 
you need to save lives and not getting them.
  To my colleagues who are doing the negotiations, stop. It is over. 
Write the bill. Let's vote.
  Every time I hear it is close, that means we are just a couple of 
hundred billion dollars away. The reason I am so agitated is not to try 
to be cheap--the bill is $2 trillion. It is that, like Senator Daines, 
I have been called in the last few hours by people who are wanting more 
money for this and that. All of them may be very worthy projects, but 
we need to stop negotiating at this very moment, write the bill, and 
vote tonight or no later than tomorrow.
  Senator Daines, I have a proposition for you. If we cannot do that as 
the U.S. Senate, don't you agree with me that we should stop getting 
paid?
  Now, legally, maybe we can't stop our salaries, for it will take a 
future Congress to do that, but we can all voluntarily give up our 
money. I have a hard time with my continuing to get paid when we can't 
solve the problem. We have been doing this for days now, and enough is 
enough.
  Senator Daines, do you believe it is time for there to be 
consequences for the body in our failing to deliver for the American 
people?
  Mr. DAINES. Senator Graham, I support the idea, if we don't get 
something done here, that Members of Congress shouldn't be paid. Again, 
there are constitutional issues, but we can get around that by just 
saying we will donate our paychecks to some important COVID-19 relief 
effort that is going on. We will find something.
  Here is what we get. At least here in the Senate tonight, we have a 
choice as to whether we want to donate our paychecks or not. There are 
14,700 Montanans who don't have that choice because they have lost 
their paychecks in the last 7 days. I am usually a guy who stays pretty 
calm, cool, and collected.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Yes.
  Mr. DAINES. Lindsey, you could probably testify to that.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Yes, I can.
  Mr. DAINES. This is a moment in which I am just bringing the 
frustration and the fear that I hear in the voices of Montanans who are 
asking: What in the world is going on back in Washington, DC?
  We have a package. As you can see, what happened today in the markets 
around the world is that there was optimism. Why? Because we have 
something here that is going to be a rescue. First, they called it a 
stimulus. Then they called it a recovery package. I think this is 
called a rescue package. We are into a rescue here--rescuing this 
economy and rescuing the jobs of these small business owners. We could 
spend the next 30 to 40 minutes going through, in detail, all of the 
things that are in this bill that are going to help working people in 
this country and small businesses.
  In the meantime, Senator Graham, I agree with you. If we can't get 
this passed, every Member of Congress should start donating his pay to 
a charity that is currently on the frontline of dealing with the 
coronavirus and COVID-19.
  Mr. GRAHAM. If I may, I think the Senator is speaking for most 
Montanans. I know he is speaking for South Carolinians. Let's go back 
to the 14,000 people in Montana who are on unemployment. I don't know 
what kind of spike that is. I have been to Montana--a great place, a 
lot of land, not that many people, hardy folks. They don't want to be 
unemployed; they want to be working. I know the Senator's people pretty 
well. They are probably pissed off that they have been laid off, but 
there is nothing we can do about it until we control this virus, and we 
will.
  Do you realize, Senator, that in this bill, every unemployed person 
in Montana will get $600 on top of the State unemployment benefit? In 
South Carolina, the maximum benefit is $326. This bill will take it up 
$600. Doesn't the Senator think that will matter to the people in 
Montana?
  Mr. DAINES. It more than doubles what they would otherwise receive in 
the State of Montana in unemployment benefits.

  By the way, this unemployment insurance backstop that is part of this 
rescue package is not what Montanans are after. They want their jobs.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Yes.
  Mr. DAINES. So their first choice is, Would you please help me keep 
my job.
  For whatever reason, if we can't do that, there will be the 
unemployment insurance. I will tell you that Montanans don't want a 
handout, but it is there if they need it because it is really a hand-
up--a bridge--until we get this economy back on its regular course.
  Mr. GRAHAM. If I may, we keep talking about being at war. I have made 
50-something trips to Afghanistan and Iraq. We are at war with a virus, 
not with radical Islam, and we need to destroy this virus before it 
destroys our economy and kills thousands of Americans.
  The Senator's legislation--his proposal--of $10 billion to accelerate 
our finding an antibody or a vaccine is the ultimate nuclear weapon, 
and that is the best $10 billion in this entire package--to kill the 
virus.
  Yet the people in Montana, South Carolina, and South Dakota are out 
of work today because of containment policies. We have had to make a 
decision to stop the spread of the virus. It is probably one of the 
most draconian decisions we have made since World War II, when we 
rationed goods and couldn't have the lights on at night.
  Everybody says we are going to get through it, and they are right, 
but I want you to know it will not be easy. It is going to take a while 
until we find the therapies and the vaccines to kill this virus. Until 
then, we need to act in Congress to get help to those who need it. They 
are the people the Senator has just described--the business owner and 
the unemployed person. There is a lot of help.
  You can call this bill whatever you would like, but the two Senators 
who are here with me tonight are from out West. This is the cavalry 
coming over the hill. You are under attack; you are under siege. If we 
can pass this bill, the cavalry will be there for your businesses, and 
it will be there for your families.
  The only way we are going to pass this bill, Senator Daines, is to 
stop negotiations and write the bill.
  Do you agree?
  Mr. DAINES. There has been plenty of time to negotiate, Senator 
Graham. There have been good faith negotiations on both sides, and 
there has been shuttle diplomacy going on between both sides. There has 
been a lot of give and get. We are at a point now at which we need to 
vote, and we should be voting tonight.
  Regarding that $10 billion that is in this bill, I have been spending 
a lot of time thinking about how we get out of this war.
  Mr. GRAHAM. How do you kill it?
  Mr. DAINES. How do you win this war?
  Mr. GRAHAM. How do you kill this virus?
  Mr. DAINES. When you step back for a moment and think about the 
basics--of the panic and fear that the American people have with regard 
to this economy--the panic and the fear will not stop until the 
pandemic stops, and the pandemic will not stop until these great drugs 
start.
  Here is what we are thinking about, and I want to give a reason for 
great hope and optimism as to how we are going to get over this great 
hurdle that we face in our Nation today. We have some amazing vaccines 
in development as we speak. In fact, they started a trial in Seattle a 
week ago on Monday. They vaccinated 45 adults aged 18 to 55. They are 
getting the initial results. They will be looking at the safety as

[[Page S2006]]

well as the efficacy--how well does it work?--over the course of 
several weeks.
  We have some other amazing, miracle drugs. They are called monoclonal 
antibodies. That is the technical term for them. When you take that 
drug, it provides protection against the coronavirus so that you don't 
even get the COVID-19 disease.
  Here is the challenge, Senator Graham. We have to be operating on 
parallel paths right now to make sure we have those drugs available to 
the American people in a widespread fashion before the next flu season 
hits this fall. We are seeing reports right now from Singapore and Hong 
Kong, and there are some reinfections going on. That should put us on 
notice.

  Assuming our containment strategy works and that we bend this curve, 
as we have talked about, so that we look more like South Korea than 
Italy--we pray for that and hope for that and are working to that end--
the challenge will be our not having enough immunity in our society 
coming up this fall. That will leave us vulnerable to a second wave of 
this virus.
  The solution--the way we win this war--is to start manufacturing some 
of these drugs earlier, in parallel with the testing that is going on, 
so that, by the time the fall hits, we will have it available for the 
American people. That is in this bill.
  Listen, every hour that goes by in which we don't pass this bill is 
an hour that is lost in this fight. We see what is going on. If you 
look at the World Health Organization's numbers--we are calculating 
them on a daily basis and sometimes on an hourly basis--every hour 
matters right now, and every day matters. We have now lost 2 days this 
week. It has been incredible.
  Lindsey, it is Wednesday tomorrow. It is time to vote. This Chamber 
is empty. Senator Graham, let's get this Chamber full of Senators, and 
let's have an up-or-down vote. Let's get it done.
  Mr. GRAHAM. We will end where we began. The reason I am here with 
Senator Daines is that I have been getting phone calls over the last 
several hours from people who want to add more money. It is not that it 
is a bad idea as much as it is we need to get this bill done. It will 
not be the last time we get to address this problem. It rattles me to 
no end to know that people are still asking for billions of dollars at 
8:30 at night or 8 o'clock at night. That tells me that we haven't sent 
the right signal, which is that this is a good bill. It is time to 
write it, and it is time to vote on it. It is time to end the 
negotiations.
  Mr. President, you have done a very good job today. That news 
conference with you and Dr. Fauci was the most encouraging I have seen. 
We are going to listen to good science, and we are going to turn on the 
economy in a smart way with conditions being faced. You have encouraged 
Congress. You have been very nice to Congress.
  The reason we are here tonight is that we are both upset that people 
are still talking about adding to the bill 48 hours after having been 
on the 5-yard line. We may be on the 1-yard line, but, apparently, 
there are 20 people on defense when we need to get the ball in the end 
zone.
  I am just begging of my colleagues who have worked very hard--and I 
am not being critical as much as I am being insistent--because enough 
is enough. You have done a good job for the Democratic causes. We have 
done a good job for the Republican causes. The cause is the country.
  If you are out of work, we are going to keep you on the payroll so 
you don't have to go on unemployment if your employer decides to go 
that route. If you are on unemployment, we are going to give you $600 
more so you can actually survive better than you would have without 
this bill. If you are a nurse or a doctor and you are running out of 
supplies, this bill has a tremendous supply chain in it.
  So our message is simple: No more negotiations. It is over. Let's 
vote.
  Mr. DAINES. Senator Graham, thank you, and we will conclude here.
  This is a moment in our history as a nation. Truly, we have got to 
come together. The American people are asking us to come together.
  Senator Graham, I thought for certain we would have a vote today, and 
here we are, approaching 8:30 p.m., and no sign of a vote. We are going 
to lose another day while the unemployment claims are rising and people 
are getting sicker. There is help on the way with this historic 
package. It is time to forget who is a Republican and who is a 
Democrat. The question is--these are 100 Americans serving the U.S. 
Senate. It is time to rise above the current fracas and vote.
  Mr. GRAHAM. One last thing. Who is the gentleman who is thinking 
about laying people off from Montana, that business?
  Mr. DAINES. Steve Luebeck.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. Luebeck, I have never met you. Maybe one day I will. 
I enjoy my visits to Montana. Give us 24 more hours. I am hoping and 
praying that we can write the bill. End the negotiations right now, 
write the bill, and vote on this thing, House and Senate, and put it on 
the President's desk in the next 24 hours. Sir, if we can't, we have 
let you down and everybody else in the country like you.
  To my Governor in South Carolina, you had to institute some very 
strong containment policies so we don't become New York. People in my 
State--there are 1,700 restaurants in Myrtle Beach, restaurants and 
bars. We are going into Easter in a few weeks, and that is when the 
season begins.
  Our Canadian friends would be coming down any day now. They want to 
go swimming in March. We are glad to have them. We don't like swimming 
in March because it is too cold for us, but the Canadians like it. It 
is a win-win. They are not coming.
  Those 1,700 restaurants and bars, in this bill, if we pass it, can go 
to a credit union or a bank. You can borrow money to pay your employees 
up to $8,000. You can borrow money to pay the rent, pay yourself as the 
owner, and we will forgive it and make it a grant for 6 or 8 weeks. 
That will change everybody's life all over South Carolina.
  It is time to change people's lives. It is time to stop negotiating. 
It is time to vote.

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